Norman Foster has been presented with the 2011 Save the Children Award, given by Save the Children Spain, at a ceremony in Madrid. The high profile awards are given annually to outstanding individuals whose work helps to build a better world for children. Lord Foster has been recognised for his longstanding relationship with the charity and his humanitarian work.
In 2008, Foster + Partners started working with Save the Children, along with Article 25 and Buro Happold, to establish a design prototype for a school in Sierra Leone. The project aims to help to improve education in one of the worlds poorest countries and will create a series of highly flexible buildings with larger classrooms, effective ventilation and natural light. The design is being jointly funded by Foster + Partners, Article 25 and Buro Happold and construction will be financed by the Foster family.
The practice has also been involved with Save the Children through the design of a Christmas tree, which was auctioned in 2006 to raise £17,000; and, working with artist, Ben Johnson, the realisation of a Nobel Prize sculpture for Rewrite the Future, a peace campaign set up by the charity that encourages children to use drawing as a tool for advocacy.
Lord Foster said:
It is a privilege to receive this award from Save the Children, an organisation we have worked closely with for a number of years. As architects, our starting point is always to try to improve the quality of peoples lives. In Sierra Leone we recognised the urgent need for school buildings that could be both affordable and sustainable. That led us to develop a pilot school, which we hope will provide a model for communities throughout the country.