Type his name into any search engine and you’ll come up with some unusual takes on Foster’s work. Chloë McCulloch finds out what he means to a variety of branding gurus, expats and geeks
When I typed “blogs” and “Norman Foster” into Google, I expected to be rewarded with some off-the-wall results – and I wasn’t disappointed.
First up is self-styled “branding guru” William Arruda’s blog about the power of personal branding (blog.williamarruda.com). The purpose of the blog is to show how to use “the power of personal branding to advance your career or business”, and apparently the architecture of Foster is a case in point. Arruda reckons Foster has a stronger brand than any other living architect as “virtually all his buildings become icons”. The “icon” that comes in for special praise, thereby exhibiting the essence of the Foster brand, is his Hearst Tower in New York.
The same building is the subject of a radical transformation on www.socketsite.com, which likes the Hearst Tower so much it has a 3D animation with said tower transposed onto the Sisco skyline. The Gherkin is also subjected to a “Photoshop mashup” in which it is placed atop the San Fransisco Chronicle building (pictured).
Gizmodo.com, a gadget site, has latched onto the technology behind Foster’s Khan Shatyry Entertainment Centre in Astana, Kazakhstan – a tent-like structure, it is clad in ETFE which enables it to absorb sunlight to give the effect of summer all year round. According to Adam Frucci this is “officially the coolest architectural project ever”.
Back in Europe, a Mr B is blogging on www.francethisway.com about his expat life in the south of France and his love of Foster’s Millau viaduct. He is such a fan he says he’ll even “overlook the millions of tons of damaging concrete that was used”. Mr B’s blog has attracted several comments about the bridge and a rather bloodthirsty one from someone who wants to know, “Has anyone fallen off yet?”