ELLE Dec­o­ra­tion’s As­so­ciate Pub­lisher Chris Daunt talks with the ar­chi­tec­tural icon

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Style -

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.

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