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Norman’s conquest

Behind Norman Foster's towering domination of British architecture, lies a man ill at ease with human reality. His buildings clad the establishment in slick modernist clothes, serving power not people

By Rowan Moore   March 2002

Norman Foster’s Reichstag dome, as seen from inside. Photo: Malte Ruhnke

Norman Foster is the single most successful British architect in history, whether success is measured by the size of his office, fame, honours, global reach or number of projects. His is an heroic life story, which has taken him from working-class Manchester to the House of Lords. He has achieved a near-monopoly of the monuments of millennial London-enough to constitute a city in themselves-designing such essential urban objects as the city hall, two skyscrapers, the bridge, the football stadium, the town square, the train station and the headquarters of…

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