Prince of Asturias Award 2009


Norman Foster 

Since 1981, the Prince of Asturias Foundation presents its awards to prominent figures in the fields of the arts, letters, research or sports. In its 29th edition, the award in the Arts category has gone to the British architect Norman Foster, “whose work, of universal reach, combines aesthetic quality, intellectual reflection and dialogue between territory and citizens, through an original command of space, light and matter”, in words of the jury. Foster is the fourth architect to receive the most prestigious distinction in?Spain, after the Brazilian Óscar Niemeyer, the 1989 laureate; Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oíza, recipient in 1993; and Santiago Calatrava, winner in 1999. Paradigm of the global era, his London office, Foster+Partners, has buildings in every continent, though in the last years its presence has been particularly important in China (his Beijing airport is the world’s largest building) and in Abu Dhabi, where he is working on the Cenral Market and Masdar, the first zero-emission, zero-waste city. Norman Foster has already received important awards like the Pritzker Prize in 1999 and the Praemium Imperiale in 2002.

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