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

St Moritz, Switzerland

Some buildings reach out to the surrounding landscape. The most scintillating example is this apartment block, built in 2002 in St Moritz, Switzerland. Arched flying buttresses clad in timber shingle frame views of snow-clad Swiss Alps. Little wonder Lord Foster’s chose it for his holiday home.

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."

Millennium Bridge

The physical structure that underpins all architecture has its spiritual dimension. Foster and Partner’s purest expression of this is the Millennium Bridge that spans the Thames between Bankside and St Paul’s, and which is flanked on either side by these powerful steel outriggers.

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 …

Spiral ramps are a great favourite of Foster’s.

Sometimes, it’s the routes through buildings that binds it together, particularly if it is in the public realm. Spiral ramps are a great favourite of Foster’s. And nowhere more so than in the new accessible dome built over the refurbished 19th-century Reichstag in Berlin.