Dezeen Magazine

Norman Foster cycling around the Reichstag dome

Norman Foster joins Instagram and shares candid snaps and ski-race times

British architect Norman Foster is providing a rare insight into his personal life with his new official Instagram account, which he set up to debunk imposters.

The 81-year-old posted the first photo to his @officialnormanfoster page five weeks ago, and has since offered followers a candid look into his day-to-day activities.

Hard-hat tours, skiing trips and even cycling down the spiralling ramp of his dome at the Reichstag in Berlin have all featured in his pictures so far, although he is yet to post a selfie. His feed does include a portrait of him wearing a pair of spiral glasses though.

The photos reveal a more playful side to the architect, who is a keen cross-country skier and has a chalet in St Moritz that he designed himself.

Foster emailed Dezeen to tell us about the account over the weekend. He said that one of the reasons for starting it was to expose those pretending to be him. A quick Instagram search threw up three imposters.

"I would like to let you know that I have started a new Instagram page under the name 'officialnormanfoster'," he said. "This is because there have been several fake accounts posing as me."

Foster has also promoted the account by scrawling his handle onto a bib for a 42-kilometre cross-country ski race, which he posted a picture of and captioned with his finish time of three hours 42 minutes (45 minutes faster than last year).

To celebrate reaching 1,000 followers over the weekend, the architect created an iPad illustration of a plane trailing a banner with a message of thanks. Dezeen recently hit its own Instagram milestone, amassing over a million followers.

The architect and his London-based firm Foster + Partners was ranked at number 13 in the Dezeen Hot List, a countdown of the most newsworthy players in the design industry.

Foster founded the studio 50 years ago and has been a key figure of the high-tech architecture movement. His accolades include the 1994 AIA Gold Medal and the 1999 Pritzker Prize, and he was named a Lord by the Queen for his contribution to the industry.

The firm has completed some of the world's most recognisable buildings and projects, including the Gherkin and City Hall in the UK capital, and the Hearst Tower in New York, as well as airports in London, Hong Kong, Amman and Beijing.

Upcoming projects include the Apple Park in Cupertino, the Oceanside Center in San Francisco and a pair of supertall towers for Miami – to name a few.