Last night, Lord Foster was presented with the British Council for Offices (BCO) Presidents Award 2005 during a gala dinner held at Grosvenor House, London. The BCO is the United Kingdoms leading authority on the development, funding, design, construction, and operation of all types of buildings. The President's Award recognises Lord Foster's outstanding achievement and contribution to the built environment. Simon Ward, the BCO President, said: Today, far from being a commodity designed down to the bare minimum, office designs have become progressive, responding to the changing demands of business and society through a series of step changes. And there is perhaps no body of work which more illustrates this progression than the first class output of the studio of Norman Foster.
Receiving the award Lord Foster said : I am delighted to receive the 2005 BCO President's Award. Many of us spend more time at our place of work than we do at home, so the nature of the workplace directly affects the quality of our lives. Since the design of Willis Faber we have tried to redefine the office building; creating socially responsible, democratic buildings that work both from the outside, in the civic context, and from the inside, by fulfilling the needs generating the building. In a challenging time of social and technological change, we respond by seeking to design buildings that encourage a strong ecological program, flexible space, natural ventilation and light.
Presenting the award, the BCO particularly praised Foster and Partners IBM Pilot Office building in Cosham, The Willis Faber offices in Ipswich, The HSBC headquarters building in Hong Kong, The Commerzbank building in Frankfurt, and The Swiss Re tower at 30 St Mary Axe as examples of top quality design and benchmarks of architectural excellence. Simon Ward noted:" This constant exploration of ways of progressing the art and science of office design on a solid base of past experience is what the BCO is about, and makes Norman Foster the worthy winner of the Presidents Award for 2005."