Saturday, April 12, 2014

Foster Cancels Planned Foundation in Madrid

Site of proposed foundation. Source: Palacetes de Madrid

El Pais reports that Norman Foster has dropped plans to establish his private foundation in a Madrid palace dating to 1912, after Madrid's Heritage Commission ruled against some of his proposed modifications and additions to the protected building.

The Foundation, currently registered in London, would house Foster's personal archives and organize exhibitions, debates and publications on architecture, urbanism, design and art.

In a letter to the city, Foster stated that he is reconsidering "the suitability of the location". His office has declined to make further comments.

Foster currently organizes an annual architecture show in his wife's Madrid art gallery, Ivorypress, which has featured Ron Arad, Buckminster Fuller, Jean Prouvé, Zaha Hadid and Foster himself.

Another architect's personal foundation seems to be in the works in Madrid, that of Emilio Ambasz. Last year, the City of Madrid ceded a building near the Prado Museum that Ambasz plans to demolish for a new building of his own design. Fore more on that story (although the less said, the better), see El Pais, March 6, 2013 and December 12, 2013.
Ambasz proposal from El Pais

I would gladly trade Ambasz's furry green building on its overly-promintent site for Foster and his palace, discretely located in Madrid's leafy embassy district, with its pavilions and whatnot in the garden. With any luck, though, Ambasz's project will go nowhere. And let's hope that Foster, once properly begged to and groveled before, will reconsider.

Bruno García Gallo, Ángeles García
"Norman Foster Drops Plans to  Create his Foundation in Madrid"
El País, English edition
April 8, 2014

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