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Norman Foster awarded life peerage in Honours list

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Norman Foster has been made a life peer in the Queen's Birthday Honours list. Unlike his old partner Richard Rogers, who became a working Labour peer in August 1996, Foster's honour is for his work as an architect. He is therefore under no obligation to be politically active, and he has not indicated whether he will be affiliated to any party. Nor has he yet decided what appellation he will take.

Foster has picked up nearly every accolade possible. On 7 June, he was awarded the $100,000 Pritzker Prize. He has received both the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture (1983) and the Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects (1994), and in 1997 was appointed to the Order of Merit. With near universal admiration for Foster's work, acerbic critic A N Wilson was a rare dissenting voice when he wrote in the Evening Standard on Monday, 'Making Norman Foster into a peer was a gross folly. His buildings are an eyesore.'

One of Foster's recent successes was his appointment to design the new headquarters for the Greater London Authority earlier this year. The losing finalist, Will Alsop, has received an OBE for services to architecture. 'I'm quite happy to take my chances with the establishment', said Alsop, and he was 'very pleased and proud'. He added that he was becoming too old to be described as an enfant terrible. He also remarked that whatever he achieved, 'Foster is always ahead of me'.

Other recipients of awards included Derek Lovejoy, eponymous founder of the landscape architecture practice 40 years ago, who trained as an architect and planner before going to Harvard to study landscape architecture. He has received a CBE, as have David Trench, project manager of the Dome and the British Library, Fred Emery-Wallis who as leader of Hampshire County Council commissioned much of the imaginative public architecture there, and John Anderson, chairman of the building regulations advisory committee.

An OBE goes to Quentin Hughes, a former Liverpool academic who has written on the history of the city, forts and Malta. Tom Bloxham of Urban Splash has an MBE 'for services to architecture and urban design in Liverpool and Manchester', and MBEs have gone to Robert Kay for services to the architectural profession, to Robert Kindred for services to the Institute of Historic Building Conservation and to Edward Ruddock for services to architecture and building conservation.

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