The world's most admired architectural firm
Look around the world and Foster + Partners has left an indelible imprint: Berlin’s restored Reichstag; Beijing International Airport; France’s Millau Viaduct; the Great Court of the British Museum; the Sage in Gateshead.
Founded by Norman (now Lord) Foster and his wife in 1967, Foster + Partners has become a substantial practice - it’s Britain’s biggest architectural firm and its global workforce comprises nearly 1,500 people - although in scale it is not in the global top ten.
It’s currently estimated to be the world’s 14th largest architectural practice by BD Online. (For reference, turnover in 2016 was £225m and pre-tax profits £33.4m with the majority of its revenues generated outside the UK.)
Yet size isn’t everything. Norman Foster has been regularly ranked as the world’s “most admired” architect (at least for nine consecutive years up to 2015, the most recent publication of this ranking.) Since its inception, the firm has received more than 620 awards for excellence and won over 100 national and international competitions.
It is also the architect of choice for Apple, including the corporation’s extraordinary circular new headquarters in Cupertino, California. Here’s just one architectural insight from that development: the Steve Jobs Theatre sports the largest carbon-fibre roof in the world - resting on a transparent glass cylinder. There is not a single column. It is the largest all-glass-supported structure in the world.