The superstar architect's new tome Reflections divides his work into nine architectural themes, then illustrates each one with sumptuous full-page photographs. Martin Spring introduces a taster of the visual delights coming soon to a coffee table near you
Here's a photo-fest of the Foster oeuvre selected by the great man himself. The 138 black-and-white photographs, none less than a page in size, are the finest images of Foster buildings available. The book comes with a pithy commentary by Foster that earns its one-word title Reflections.
Does that mean, then, that the remorseless logic of Foster's functionalism has been thrown to the winds? The rationality is there from Foster's opening sentence. "I believe architecture is a social art - a necessity and not a luxury - that is concerned with the quality of life and the creation of benefits."
A logic of sorts runs through the book. It is divided into nine themes, each represented by the Foster buildings that best interprets it.
Some of the themes are down-to-earth, such as structure and technology. Others are perennial concerns: space, light and pattern. But all are presented with a spin that is less rational than, in Foster's word, spiritual.
Reflections is, in short, a neat translation of cerebral theory into irresistible sensuous imagery. And that, dear reader, is real architecture …
Reflections by Norman Foster is published on 30 January 2006 by Prestel price £39. Building readers can purchase the book at the specially reduced price of £35, with postge and packing free for orders to the UK. Readers should ring Marston, the distributors, on 01235-465500, ask for "direct sales" and quote REFBDGH for the UK or REFBDGX for overseas. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please mention that the offer includes free postage and packing