Lord Foster: accountant or architect?
It is a very strange coincidence indeed. Might as well call it an Omen…
Just yesterday I was writing about how irrelevant is modern understanding of architectural profession (which is officially called “conducting a business of architecture”) to the real substance of Architecture. And while I was naively oratorizing about abstract principles of harmony, mystical search for the beauty canons, divine intervention and other BS, the most successful architect of modern times was thinking of … TAXES.
No wonder he’s a Lord – rich and famous. He is smart and clear-headed… Is he an Architect though? Was he ever?…
Those are few of the latest media excerpts:
Architect Foster gives up seat in Britain’s House of Lords (sify.com/news) | 2010-07-09 01:20:00
“Leading architect Norman Foster has quit the House of Lords rather than pay full resident taxes in Britain, a parliamentary spokeswoman said Thursday… Foster is among five peers who gave up their unelected seats…”
Architect quits Lords on tax status (The Press Association)
“Architect Lord Foster of Thames Bank has given up his seat in the House of Lords in order to hold on to his non-domiciled tax status. He was the fifth peer to quit the Upper House… He retains his title, but will no longer be able to attend the Lords or vote on legislation…”
Norman Foster Quits Duties as ‘Lord’, Manages to Retain Title (By S. Delahoyde, mediabistro)
“Norman Foster has decided to give up his meeting rights and the ability to vote on legislation that he’s had since joining the UK’s House of Lords back in 1999… However, while Foster is stepping down from all his obligations to the House, he’ll continue to retain his Lord Foster title and all that comes with it (primarily that he can keep calling himself “Lord Foster”), adding to previous efforts to have him stripped of it. The starchitect, known for his buildings built across the globe, was one of five Lords to give up their duties in order to escape additional taxes…”
There is not much to add. What pisses me off that in every article word “Architect” is clearly emphasized. If “Lord Foster” would be a financier, manufacturer, engineer or a real-estate broker, no one would mention his profession. People still associate word “Architect” with something sacral, elevated above the primitive world issues, above the business greed. People, but not “Lord Foster”.
And on a final note. Wikipedia: “As of April 2010 the House of Lords has 707 members”. Five of them “quit the House of Lords rather than pay full resident taxes in Britain.” One of them is an architect.
P.S. Some of his projects are great. So there is nothing personal, my Lord. Strictly business.