Lord Norman Foster celebrated his 82nd birthday this Thursday in grand style, inviting 1,750 students and guests from around the world to the Royal Opera Theater of Madrid for a forum titled "The Future is Now." The event featured speakers from different fields of design and policy-making, such as Michael Bloomberg, Nicholas Negroponte, Olafur Eliasson, and Apple designer Jonathan Ive. The forum celebrates, in turn, the inauguration of the Norman Foster Foundation, which the architect has installed in a Beaux-Arts palace dating to 1912 in Madrid’s embassy district.
Foster is often in the city with his Spanish-born wife, Elena, and he explains to RECORD that both personal and professional considerations influenced his decision to locate his foundation here. "We came across this incredible building at a critical point in our search," he recalls, "and then we started to realize all the incredible advantages Madrid offers."