Norman Foster at Centre Georges Pompidou

A Film By and About Foster

John Hill
24. January 2024
Norman Foster at the eponymous exhibition at the Pompidou in 2023. (Photo: Screenshot from “Norman Foster at Centre Pompidou - The Documentary”)

In his review of the massive monographic exhibition last year, Ulf Meyer wondered if Norman Foster's “super-elegant, technology-driven architecture” was passé, if the “fancy race cars and ultra-sleek aircraft are no longer the epitomes of the new generation of designers” and if “his fascination with space exploration seems even more done.” The exhibition did not take a critical stance on Foster's architecture though, “not least because Foster himself worked on his own show, an irritating but increasingly common detail in architectural exhibitions.”

Fittingly for an exhibition organized by the Centre Pompidou with the participation of Foster + Partners and the Norman Foster Foundation, Foster himself provided a 30-minute tour of the exhibition, released in July 2023. The new documentary, embedded below, takes that tour and inserts comments by Laurent Le Bon, president of the Centre Pompidou, and Frédéric Migayrou, curator of the exhibition, providing additional perspectives on the exhibition and the architecture of Foster + Partners. While still more celebratory than critical, the documentary is well worth watching.

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