Norman Foster Foundation to Open Headquarters in Madrid

It will now function as an institution independent from Foster + Partners.

The Norman Foster Foundation's new home in Madrid. Courtesy The Norman Foster Foundation.

Beginning on June 1, the Norman Foster Foundation will be based in Madrid, running as a separate institution independent from the architectural practice of Foster + Partners, the organization has revealed.

Architectural historian and curator Maria Nicanor will be at the helm as the new initiative’s director. She joins the foundation after curatorial posts at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

The organization will be making the move to the Spanish capital from London, where it had previously been stationed for 18 years. Though billed as a new venture, the relocation to Madrid has been in the works for a number of years: the foundation previously had similar plans, only to announce their cancellation in 2014.

The opening will coincide with a day-long inaugural global forum, titled Future is Now, to be held at the Teatro Real and hosted by Norman Foster and the city’s mayor, Manuela Carmena. The forum will explore how thinking about the future of social and financial structures might affect today’s built environment.

Norman Foster. Courtesy the Norman Foster Foundation.

Participants include businessman and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg; architect and artist Maya Lin; Richard Burdett, Professor of Urban Studies at the London School of Economics; artist Olafur Eliasson; and Norman Foster, among others.

“The birth of the Foundation grows out of the aspiration to help new generations to be better prepared to anticipate the future, especially in times of profound global uncertainty, and in particular to assist those professionals who are concerned with the built environment,” Norman Foster said in a statement.

“Behind all this is our belief in the value of architecture, infrastructure, and urbanism to make a difference for the collective good. This may have a utopian ring to it; but the reality is that everything that surrounds us is the result of a conscious act of design,” he added.

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