Lord Foster today delivered a Master Class on planning and architecture as part of the launch of the new UK Cultural initiative China-UK Connections through Culture in Beijing. He spoke to an audience of top-flight young practitioners and students at the Millennium Monument in central Beijing.
Lord Foster was one of a small group invited by Prime Minister Tony Blair to witness the signing of a cultural exchange with Premier Wen Jiabao and to give a Master Class to initiate the agreement. He spoke about issues of sustainability and the importance of infrastructure also with reference to his world-wide projects. These themes are of particular relevance and interest to China as its urbanisation continues at a dramatic pace.
A three-year Cultural Exchange Programme between the two nations was signed during the visit to Beijing by the Prime Minister who emphasised that cultural exchange is at the heart of the UKs relationship with China.
Foster and Partners are responsible for the design of the new Beijing International Airport Terminal, the largest and most advanced of its kind in the world. Construction is on schedule for completion ahead of the 2008 Olympics.
Lord Foster said
Chinas urbanisation - the movement of people from the land to cities - will take 20 years. The same process in Europe took 200 years. The cultural agreement is an opportunity, through the Master Class, to exchange ideas and experience on master planning and the quest to improve the quality of urban living.