At an awards ceremony held in the Royal Courts of Justice last night, Norman Foster was awarded the inaugural Great Briton Award 2004 for outstanding British achievement in the Creative Industries. The awards celebrate the international success of Britons, and were established by Morgan Stanley in partnership with the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures &Commerce (RSA), and the Daily Telegraph. The Award carries with it an honorarium of 3,000.
Members of the public nominated their Great Britons in seven different categories: Arts, Sport, Business, Science and Innovation, Creative Industries, Campaigning, and Public Service. A panel of expert judges then assessed the Britishness of each nominee, based on characteristics such as strength and determination, adaptability, modesty, and a sense of humour. In their award citation, the judges described Foster as the United Kingdoms most celebrated architect and praised his ability to combine functionality and beauty, evident in the recently completed Millau Viaduct in France. Foster, they concluded, exemplifies the British characteristics of adaptability and modesty.
Accepting the award, Lord Foster noted: I am very honoured and absolutely delighted, it is wonderful news for architecture.
In addition to Foster, the filmmaker Gurinder Chadha, director of Bend It Like Beckham and Bride and Prejudice, and the scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, were also shortlisted for the 2004 Great Briton Creative Industries award. Berners-Lee was honoured with Great Briton 2004 award.