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Foster wins bonus points for Electronic Arts HQ

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Champagne and cakes were the order of the day at the opening of Electronic Arts' £20 million European headquarters in Chertsey last week.

ebrations, however, were as much for Lord Foster's 65th birthday as for the official unveiling of his state of the art, 55,000m 2'campus' building.

In the Media Centre, a central space used for previewing their computer games to staff, Lord Foster explained that his son - a keen PlayStation addict - who was 11 years old at the time of the tender, 'insisted' that Lord Foster win this commission above any other.

Looking back on the project, Foster confided that it had been, in one sense, the culmination of his previous 30 years' work, and was significant because of the instinctive common ground between client's and architect's vision for the building. This, he believed, had been due to the close similarities between the two companies; their youthful employee base, company size, 'motivational leadership and the fact that they stand or fall by their creativity'.

Going on to develop a personal view of the global impact of his work, and the uniqueness of the Electronic Arts building in particular, he was reassured that, 'individualism leads to innovation' and criticised 'the doom-mongers who say that everything will become bland'.

The building, which also features a refrigerated food storage area for Web-ordered groceries and a five a side football pitch, is already fully occupied, and Electronic Arts and Lord Foster are currently planning the follow-on phase.

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