Foster + Partners is one of the oldest and most prestigious architecture firms. The design ideology very skillfully integrates various elements of design such as façade treatment, services, and incorporation of nature into the spaces, hence creating holistic and timeless designs. The firm has completed projects from various cultural and regional backgrounds and has many more upcoming. Here is a quick overview of a few of our favorite picks.

1. ICÔNE

Location: Esch-Sur-Alzette, Luxembourg.
Year of completion: 2022 (Under Construction)

One can find this commercial development tucked into the pre-existing strong industrial heritage of Belval. The symbolically important Blast furnace still stands strong and is a focal point. The central atrium is enveloped by two wings and the entire structure is covered by a vast roof. The presence of intermittently placed break out spaces and a proper circulation towards the interior edge of the building gives life to every corner of the structure. Green spaces can be seen as carved out niches running throughout the periphery of the structure. It is a perfect example of restoring a heritage structure and giving it a new life and story.

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2. DATONG ART MUSEUM

Location: Datong, China.
Year of completion: 2020 (Under Construction)

This State-of-the-art museum borrows its form from an erupted landscape. The site is divided into levels and the roof drops and rises to create varying internal heights. A series of openings enable for a play of light and shadow. The core exhibition space, allocated for the display of large artworks, has a massive height of 37 meters. The ramp through which the visitors enter is beautifully amalgamated with the plaza to create an Amphitheatre-like setting. The roof spanning over 70% of the exposed surface area is insulated twice the requirement with hardly 10% glazing. The overall subdued setting of the site is balanced by the quirky interior elements.

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3. SOUTH SABAH AL-AHMAD MASTER PLAN

Location: Kuwait.
Year of completion: 2040 (Under Construction)

The need for a new urban core in the country drives this project. The masterplan has been designed keeping in mind the need for a sustainable mixed-use entity that can cater to the needs of a fast-emerging western culture in Kuwait. The 61.5-kilometer city is home to ten residential clusters wrapped around a commercial core with an industrial belt on its periphery. Biomimicry can be observed in forms of petal-like green spaces branching from the central park that runs as a landscape element throughout the clusters. There is a range of security facilities and barrier-free design strategies to pave the way for a more holistic and gated community.

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©Foster + Partners
©Foster + Partners

4. NORTON MUSEUM OF ART

Location: West Palm Beach, USA.
Year of completion: 2019

This 1941 Art-Deco inspired brainchild of Architect Marion Sims Wyeth, has been designed keeping in mind the importance of pause points in spaces. The originally planned radial planning with a courtyard in the center surrounded by single-storeyed pavilions. The new design has incorporated a state-of-the-art museum, several art galleries, and restaurants with al-fresco garden seating. The new master plan aims to bring a new identity to the existing layout in a sub-tropical form. The existing trees have been retained and landscaped in the best possible way to provide sheltered walkways surrounding the built form.

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5. APPLE CARNEGIE LIBRARY

Location: Washington DC, USA.
Year of completion: 2019

This project is a perfect model for thoughtfully planned adaptive reuse projects. The Heritage Library was given a new life after being forgotten for years by converting it into a space for learning, art, and hands-on working. The core of the Beaux-Arts style building has been modified into a massive double-height space which is topped by a restored skylight that brings in natural light. The plaza at the Southern entrance of the library is used to host concerts, art festivals, and more. Several overlooking galleries help to juxtapose various functions happening simultaneously in the space.

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6. 50 HUDSON YARDS

Location: New York, USA.
Year of completion: 2022 (Under Construction)

The 985 – foot tower in the heart of New York provides an awe-worthy view of the Vessel, Empire state, and the scenic Hudson River from its receding floor plates. The brilliantly planned office has massive ceiling heights and beautifully incorporated sky lobbies amidst the otherwise busy spaces designated for work. The stacking of floor plates is topped by glass boxes which provide for visual and spatial transparency. A new age work district paves way for easy access to public transport, ample breathing spaces, and scattered retail planning throughout its extent.

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7. NEW SLUSSEN MASTERPLAN

Location: Stockholm, Sweden.
Year of completion: 2025 (Under Construction)

Slussen lies in the scenic area of Stockholm. The requirement of this project arises from the corrosion of the heritage structure that acted as a crucial mode of transport. The proposed mixed-use design model aims to coherently include pedestrian and bike routes along with other modes of transport interlinking the important landmarks. The intangible heritage of the city is restored by the inclusion of art galleries, museums, and plazas, all enveloped in between large green pockets. A “Water Plaza “is planned as a central space that can offer a whole new arrangement of waterside cafes, communal amenities, and more.

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8. IREO CITY

Location: Gurgaon, India.
Year of completion: 2020 (Under Construction)

The Project has been planned to be the first of its kind in India to create a “sustainable city within a city”. The 30-acre site will be home to luxury living spaces, retail, offices, shops, parks, and more. The structure will encompass a long landscape stretch that will be woven with intermittently placed sky gardens and terraces. Soft Mobility integration has been planned by paving way for a broad pedestrian high street that will be lined with eateries and retail on two sides. Lush green spaces pleasantly form the core of the planning.

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9. HARAMAIN HIGH-SPEED RAIL

Location: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Year of completion: 2019

The intricately detailed project aims to act as an Intermodal connecting link between major cities and cater to more than 20,000 passengers per hour at peak time. The circulation is unidirectional and has been designed to follow minimal branching to create a sense of structurally induced movement. Architectural elements have been borrowed from the region’s traditional roots. The stations are modular and reflect values of sustainability in the form of skylights installed in the vaulted roof that bring in natural light and temperature regulation based on the external climate.

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10. APPLE PARK

Location: Cupertino, USA.
Year of completion: 2018.

The beautifully designed Campus is a perfect example of thoughtful integration of human workspace and nature. The planning mimics as “Ring” and the circulation borrows from nature’s meandering patterns. The rhythm is broken at a few places by the presence of work pods, restaurants, and extremely well-lit passages that take the user to larger atriums, parks, even full-fledged meadows, and a secluded pond. The structure has one of the largest curved glass sheets ever made and also has around 4000 void slabs. The Campus is the largest LEED- Platinum-certified office in North America.

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Tanvi Gavaskar
Author

Tanvi Gavaskar is an Architecture student from Mumbai. Having interned at notable Heritage Conservation firms in Mumbai and New York, she understands the value of diversity in architecture and the hence, documents every minute interesting detail she comes across. She is passionate about penning down her thoughts and ideas.

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