How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr Foster?

  • Carlos Carcas, Norberto López Amado (2009)
  • UK / Sp / Fr
  • 78 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

This profile of architect Norman Foster often feels more like a corporate video than a critical study, with its fetishising aerial shots of the gleaming structures that have burnished their creator's reputation. And it reaches new heights of sycophancy as narrator Deyan Sudjic competes with talking heads like Alain de Botton and Bono in paying gushing tribute to the "Mozart of Modernism". However, there are revealing insights into Foster's humble origins in Manchester, his relationships with Richard Rogers, Richard Buckminster Fuller and first wife Wendy Cheesman, and his approach to the aesthetics and ecology of his craft. Moreover, there's no denying the majesty of the images of such iconic edifices as the Berlin Reichstag, London's "Gherkin" and France's Millau Viaduct. Foster is a fascinating subject, but his achievement should be scrutinised much more rigorously than this.

Plot Summary

Documentary about architect Norman Foster, examining how his upbringing has shaped his ideas and examining his thoughts on the future. He predicts the proportion of the human race living in cities will increase over generations to come, and aspires to reduce the impact on the environment the spread of urban areas will cause.

Cast and crew


Norman Foster
Norman Foster


Carlos Carcas
Norberto López Amado

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Available on DVD
Released 28 Jan 2011
Certificate E