03 April 2008

Building on Foster + Partners pioneering work in the region and consolidating the practices long-term commitment to further development, HRH The Duke of York is to open a new Foster + Partners office in Abu Dhabi on April 3rd. The practice has been working in Abu Dhabi for the past two years, during which time it has developed an appreciation for and understanding of the specific design challenges faced by the local climate and culture.

Foster + Partners projects in the area - led by Senior Partner Gerard Evenden - include the design for Aldar Central Markets, a reinterpretation of the traditional market place and dynamic new quarter for Abu Dhabi, as well as the design for the Abu Dhabi World Trade Center, part of the Al Raha Beach Development. As a result of the Masdar Initiative, the Foster masterplan for Masdar will provide Abu Dhabi with a new sustainable city, a centre for new ideas for energy production and a sustainable urban blueprint for the future. Foster + Partners also won the international competition to design the new Sheikh al Zayed National Museum, an ambitious project to honour the legacy of the late ruler and founder of the nation.

The new office will be opened officially by HRH The Duke of York, the UK's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment. As he commented at the recent World Future Energy Summit on the pioneering Masdar Initiative, The significance of Abu Dhabis position on alternative and renewable energy sources should be recognised as a major step in the worldwide efforts to protect our environment It is very encouraging to see so much UK involvement in this Masdar initiative and, indeed, in this summit. I congratulate Foster + Partners, the UK based architectural company, who are designing the innovative Masdar City.

Norman Foster said of the new office, This is terrific news for Foster + Partners. We have taken the time to understand the design challenges faced by the climate in Abu Dhabi and invest in our local relationships, so I am delighted that we are now in a position to fully develop the opportunities that this new office will offer. We are also grateful to HRH The Duke of York for all the work he has done on our behalf in the Middle East and the great skill he has shown in establishing and nurturing commercial relationships at the highest possible level.

The office will be managed by Robert McFarlane, an experienced Partner of Foster + Partners, who was previously responsible for running the Foster Singapore office. He will be supported in London by Lord Foster, David Nelson as joint Head of Design and Gerard Evenden, Senior Partner, as well as the practice's full resource of specialist teams.

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Further Information

For further information please contact:

Katy Harris
Partner, Head of Communications
Foster + Partners

T +44 (0)20 7738 0455
E press@fosterandpartners.com