Norman Foster was born in Manchester in 1935. After graduating from Manchester University School of Architecture and City Planning in 1961 he won a Henry Fellowship to Yale University, where he gained a Master’s Degree in Architecture. He is the founder and chairman of Foster + Partners. Established in London in 1967, it is now a global practice, with project offices in more than twenty countries. Since its inception, the practice has received over 680 awards and citations for excellence and has won more than 100 international and national competitions. Recent work includes Beijing Airport, which is the world’s largest single building, Millau Viaduct in France, the Swiss Re tower and the Great Court at the British Museum in London, the Hearst Headquarters tower in New York, the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and research centres at Stanford University, California. He became the 21st Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate in 1999 and was awarded the Praemium Imperiale Award for Architecture in Tokyo in 2002. In 2009, he became the 29th laureate of the prestigious Prince of Asturias award for the Arts and was awarded the Knight Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. In 1990 he was granted a Knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, and in 1999 was honoured with a Life Peerage, becoming Lord Foster of Thames Bank.