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Norman Foster: A Life in Architecture
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"Though Sudjic (The Language of Things) takes readers on an engrossing tour of Foster's life as a renowned architect, it's the exquisite attention to detail in recounting that life--particularly the childhood--that brings this book to such vibrant life." --Publisher's Weekly (Starred Review)
About the Author
Deyan Sudjic founded the architecture magazine Blueprint in 1983. He has been Director of the Venice Architecture Biennale, as well as a juror for the design of London's Aquatic Centre. Formerly design and architecture critic for the Observer, Deyan is currently director of the Design Museum in London.
Top customer reviews
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Three parts that stand out are:
Pre-American years, Yale years, and Early Career Years.
It is surprising to find out how many side jobs Mr.Foster had to do
to overcome the financial shortage as a working-class teen.
It is also tantalizing story to find out how Victorian Manchester
arcades have influenced young Mr. Foster, who as a city clerk boy would
spend lunch time sketching buildings around town hall.
Influence of Paul Rudolph, Vincent Scully, Serge Chermayeff
at Yale and his friendship and a grand tour with
Richard Rogers and Carl Abbot in the US is also interesting read.
Struggling in the early years of the practice also stands out.
Starting Chapter 4 (about halfway of the overall length),
for a fan of Mr. Foster such as me, the book feels like
a monograph, not biography.
I think it's due to too much media exposure of Mr. Foster.
Secret stories that readers anticipate in the biography
falls short beginning Ch. 4.
Only thing that kept me going was
persuasive writing power of Mr. Sudjic.
Overall, good read.
Foster's brushes with cancer ,his heart attack receive a single line. Nothing revealed about his lifestyle, work habits/ methods. No information about his personal life,his children, his marriages,etc. this book probably gives more insight into Paul Rudolph ! As an authorised biography there is no critical analysis.
If you want to learn about Foster's building it would be best to buy an Architectural book. If you wish to learn about the man this book is of little use.