Norman Foster wins Prince of Asturias Award

Norman Foster, awarded Principe de las Artes 2009 prize

The British architect, Norman Foster (born in Manchester, 1935) has been awarded the Príncipe de Asturias de las Artes 2009 prize. The jury for this year’s prize presided over by the former Minister, José Lladó, highlighted the way that Foster’s work has ‘universal’ appeal and the way Foster knows how to ‘unite aesthetic quality, intellectual reflexion and create a dialogue between territory and citizens through the original use of space, light and material’.

Amongst Foster’s latest works are the underground station in Florence, Italy, the Pyramid for International dialogue between religions in Astana, the new capital of Kazajistan and the biggest airport in the world in Pekin, built for the 2008 Olympic Games.

Amongst some of this year’s 26 candidates for the annual Principe de Asturias prize for the Arts were the British actress Vanessa Redgrave, the Spanish film director, Carlos Saura, the American sculptor Richard Serra, the Spanish singer songwriter, Joan Manuel Serrat and the composer, Cristóbal Halffter.

Last year’s prize was awarded to the National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela. Winners in previous years include, Woody Allen, Miquel Barceló and Paco de Lucía.

Foster is the fourth architect to be awarded this prize along with the Brazilian architect, Óscar Niemeyer (1989) and the Spanish architects Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza (1993) and Santiago Calatrava (1999).

The prize for the Arts conceded by the Principe de Asturias foundation which comes with a gift of 50,000 euros will be presented by Prince Felipe de Borbón in a ceremony which will take place at the end of October in the Campoamor theatre in Oviedo.