Watch Lord Foster's acceptance speach
Lord Foster was presented with the prestigious ‘Menschen in Europa’ Art Award at a ceremony at the Verlagsgruppe Passau Media Centre in Germany yesterday. The MiE programme was established by one of Europe’s largest newspaper publishers as a forum to promote international understanding through art. Previous recipients of the MiE Award have included Shimon Peres, Madeleine Albright, Kofi Annan, Angela Merkel, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Helmut Schmidt. In his lecture ‘Cities: small changes, big effects’, Lord Foster discussed how new architecture can be the catalyst for the revitalisation of historic buildings, and he explored how lessons from the past are informing some of the most advanced, environmentally sustainable designs of today.
The laudation was by Lord Weidenfeld, publisher and diplomat, and the welcoming speech was given by Ilse Aigner, Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister of Bavaria. The award presentation and discussion also marked the opening of an exhibition of photographs of some of Foster + Partners most celebrated buildings, including the Reichstag in Berlin, the Millennium Bridge in London and Hearst Tower in New York.
Lord Foster commented:
“It is a great honour to receive the Menschen in Europa Award – its values are close to my heart. I believe that art and culture play a vital role in fostering understanding, breaking down boundaries between countries and uniting communities. Architecture has a physical and symbolic function in bringing people together, and the projects featured in the exhibition demonstrate this. Similarly the practice of architecture, particularly in our studio, is often the shared endeavour of an international team.”