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Foster + Partners: The Art of Architecture

A touring exhibition of Foster + Partners’ works and processes makes its way to Bangkok

Foster + Partners: The Art of Architecture

Top Image: Iconic projects like the Great Court at the British Museum make up part of the exhibition

What makes Foster + Partners one of the foremost architecture firms in the world, and what makes it tick? For the curious, the London-based firm’s touring exhibition Foster + Partners: The Art of Architecture would be quite telling. Having made stops in China and Malaysia – and to much acclaim – the exhibition now lands at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) where it will show until 29 June 2014.

The Reichstag
Models such as this one of The Reichstag show the importance of traditional exploration of form in the firm

Like a three-dimensional monograph, the exhibition is arranged around the themes of infrastructure, high-rise, urban design, history and culture, all of which are bound by a strong sustainable agenda.

“Sustainability has always been a central theme of our work. We believe that the best architecture comes from finding a balance between old and new, whether that means retrofitting existing cities or creating sustainable new communities,” says David Nelson, Senior Partner and Head of Design at Foster + Partners.

The firm’s penchant for architectural feats is also put on display through projects such as the Millau Viaduct in Frances, one of the world’s tallest road bridges, London’s ecological skyscraper, 30 St Mary Axe (also affectionately known as “Gherkin”), and Beijing International Airport, one of the world’s largest buildings.

30 St Mary Axe is one of the firm's most prominent works
The ecological skyscraper 30 St Mary Axe (“Gherkin”) is one of the firm’s most prominent works in London

Such projects would not be possible if not for the firm’s calculated and highly integrated approach to building. With this exhibition, visitors gain insights into a unique collaborative design process where architects, engineers and specialist in-house teams work closely alongside one another.

“The projects on display demonstrate how the international scope of our work has widened over the past forty years. But regardless of the changing nature of architectural practice, the same set of values underpins every design, in spite of its size or type. Everything is driven by the same pursuit of quality,” says Nelson.

West Kowloon Cultural District master planning project
The exhibition also looks at master planning projects such as the West Kowloon Cultural District

The exhibition also draws attention to the use of different tools and technology. It underlines the importance of drawing and model making in the firm, even in this day and age of highly advanced digital tools. Through sketches, models, films, animation, and a special exhibit exploring the process from first client meeting to completed building and post-occupancy studies, Foster + Partners: The Art of Architecture is a window to the workings of the studio.

A series of educational events will accompany the exhibition, including lectures by David Nelson, Toby Blunt, architect and partner at Foster + Partners, and Sunphol Sorakul, architect and associate at Foster + Partners.

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