FIVE MINUTES WITH SIR NORMAN FOSTER
ELLE Decoration’s Associate Publisher Chris Daunt talks with the architectural icon
Sir Norman Foster is one of Britain’s best-known architects. In London alone, his architecture firm Foster + Partners has been responsible for iconic structures such as City Hall, Wembley Stadium, the Gherkin, and the British Museum’s Royal Court ( below). But his reputation is global, his influence stretching far beyond British shores. I talked with Sir Norman at the opening of ‘Cartier in Motion’, an exhibition he curated for the French watch brand at the Design Museum, London. We discussed one of his early projects: fashion label Katharine Hamnett’s flagship store on London’s Brompton Road. Housed in a converted car repair workshop, the store was set back from the street and reached via a bridge of illuminated etched glass panels ( below) – an approach designed to conjure up a catwalk. The interior was a cavernous white room, with mirrored panels and old industrial windows, which were re-glazed with translucent white glass. He told me that he had created the space on a shoestring and completed it in a matter of months – therein lies genius.