Norman Foster was born in Manchester in 1935. After graduating from Manchester University School of Architecture and City Planning in 1961 he won a Henry Fellowship to Yale University, where he gained a Master’s Degree in Architecture. He is the founder and chairman of Foster + Partners. Founded in London in 1967, it is now a worldwide practice, with project offices in more than twenty countries. Over the past four decades the company has been responsible for a strikingly wide range of work, from urban masterplans, public infrastructure, airports, civic and cultural buildings, offices and workplaces to private houses and product design. Since its inception, the practice has received 470 awards and citations for excellence and has won more than 86 international and national competitions. Current and recent work includes the largest single building on the planet, Beijing Airport, the redevelopment of Dresden Railway Station, Millau Viaduct in France, the Swiss Re tower and the Great Court at the British Museum in London, an entire University Campus for Petronas in Malaysia, the Hearst Headquarters tower in New York, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and research centres at Stanford University, California. He became the 21st Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate in 1999 and was awarded the Praemium Imperiale Award for Architecture in 2002. He has been awarded the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal for Architecture (1994), the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture (1983), and the Gold Medal of the French Academy of Architecture (1991). In 1990 he was granted a Knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, and in 1999 was honoured with a Life Peerage, becoming Lord Foster of Thames Bank.