Praemium Imperiale 2002


Norman Foster

The Japan Art Society celebrated its centenary by founding in 1989 the Praemium Imperiale, which recognizes every year the contributions of artists of all nationalities and creative fields to the cultural progress of humanity. In a ceremony held in Tokyo on 23 October, Polish painter Sigmar Polke, Italian sculptor Giuliano Bangui, German musician Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard and British architect Norman Foster received this award. Recognizing the talent as a builder of the author of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank and the innovative contributions to the architecture of last third of the 20th century, with projects such as the Willis, Faber & Dumas offices or the Sainsbury Center for the Visual Arts, the Japanese Society preferred to highlight his sensitivity when intervening on historic contexts, specifically mentioning the Sackler Galleries at the Royal Academy of Arts, the Great Court of the British Museum and the Reichstag in Berlin. This must have been a special award for Foster, more accustomed to praise for the structural challenges of his skyscrapers and for the functional clarity of his airports.

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