Jose Manuel Ballester photography offers glimpse into Norman Foster Foundation
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Spaces by Jose Manuel Ballester for Norman Foster Foundation

Photography by Jose Manuel Ballester offers glimpse inside Norman Foster Foundation archive

Photographer Jose Manuel Ballester provides an intimate look inside the Norman Foster Foundation in Madrid for his book Spaces, detailing the architect's vast collection that ranges from a car owned by Le Corbusier to a model of Apple Park.

Founded in 1999, the Norman Foster Foundation supports the development of the new generations of architects, designers and urbanists via interdisciplinary programmes and projects designed to encourage them to research the future of cities.

Spaces by Jose Manuel Ballester for Norman Foster Foundation
North view of the pavilion, with the Voisin G7 Lumineuse car once owned by Le Corbusier and Storm Prototype II by Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, both reflected in the vitrine and ceiling. The photographs, on loan from the Le Corbusier Foundation, show the car in the context of his architecture

Holding over 74,000 objects dating from 1950 to the present day, the Foundation's archive, library and study spaces are housed in a historic former residential palace on the Calle Monte Esquinza.

Spaces by Jose Manuel Ballester for Norman Foster Foundation
Details of maquettes for Foster + Partner's Apple Park, with a model of the final version in the foreground

A pavilion built in its courtyard was designed by Norman Foster's studio within the foundation.

Made from glazed walls that support a fibreglass roof, the single-storey structure is used for programmes and events, as well as housing a collection of items that have personally inspired Foster throughout his career.

Spaces by Jose Manuel Ballester for Norman Foster Foundation
The Heritage Gallery, with models showing the evolution of the design for the eagle in the Reichstag in Berlin, Germany (1999)

Jose Manuel Ballester's book, published by the Norman Foster Foundation, includes a foreword written by Norman Foster himself and over 120 pages of colour photography of the foundation, which opened in June 2017.

Spaces by Jose Manuel Ballester for Norman Foster Foundation
An inside view of the Heritage Gallery, including the intervention model of the Great Court of the British Museum in London, UK (2000) on the left, and models of the Reichstag renovation to the right

Ballester was given free reign of the expansive archives, photographing displays of design objects and architectural models, framing what Foster described in his foreword as "unpredictable perspectives" of the collection in situ.

Spaces by Jose Manuel Ballester for Norman Foster Foundation
Framed drawn proposals for projects from the 1970s line the walls of the archive, including pieces from collaborations between Foster and Fuller

"First, I wanted to register the spaces as a whole," Ballester told Dezeen. "And second, I focused on the most relevant works of Norman's extensive career and how they appear within the circuit traced by the foundation, always keeping its context and in the same way with the most appreciated objects that the foundation houses."

Spaces by Jose Manuel Ballester for Norman Foster Foundation
A detail of Foster's drawing for the Samuel Beckett Theatre, designed with Buckminster Fuller, alongside a selection of student-era drawings and early projects

A cloud-like metal sculpture by American artist Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle hangs over a car once owned by architect Le Corbusier, which Ballester frames surrounded by their reflections in the ceiling and glass vitrine.

Spaces by Jose Manuel Ballester for Norman Foster Foundation
A view of the library in the Norman Foster Foundation in Madrid

A final model of the Foster + Partners-designed Apple Park campus is in the foreground of one shot, with a maquette of an earlier version hanging on the wall behind it.

The project recently made headlines after staff reported injuries from walking into glass doors that divide the circular interior.

Spaces by Jose Manuel Ballester for Norman Foster Foundation
A view of Foster Lab showing cross-section maquettes, with Chateau Margaux winery mock-ups mounted on the wall and refurbishment options for the Foundation's coutyard pavilion

Views of different gallery spaces and the pavilion reveal the huge volume of architectural models and drawings in the collection, including and the 1999 redesign of the Reichstag in Berlin.

One gallery is given over entirely to models from all of the airports Foster has worked on.

Spaces by Jose Manuel Ballester for Norman Foster Foundation
Cars and models of planes line the west wall of the pavilion

Drawings from Foster's student days are presented alongside drawings from a 1970s collaboration with architect Buckminster Fuller on the Samuel Beckett Theatre, a subterranean project beneath an Oxford college in England that was never realised.

Mostly Ballester shot the scenes as he found them, using Phaseone IQ 80 and Canon EOS 5 D Mark iV cameras, and occasionally his smartphone.

Spaces by Jose Manuel Ballester for Norman Foster Foundation
The north view of the Norman Foster Foundation headquarters in Madrid, Spain, including the study centre and new pavilion, which was designed by Norman Foster in 2016

"Normally I take photos as I find the objects because it was very important to respect the position at the foundation, but the foundation has a great number of activities, changing continuously, that's why I had to adapt to the circumstances," he said.

"The number of objects is so diverse as regards as Norman's legacy and those objects that have been significant to him, that's why I had to use different cameras and a varied number of lenses."

Spaces by Jose Manuel Ballester for Norman Foster Foundation
View of the main foyer from the pavilion through the door, with cabinets containing artworks and geometric design objects to the right

The book provides an insight into the Foundation's archive, which provides is a unique resource and is central to its mission.

The headquarters were established as a separate entity from Foster + Partners in order to provide a permanent home for the archive, and to create a study centre for the student and graduate beneficiaries of the foundation to base themselves in Madrid.

The foundation facilitates yearly travelling fellowships organised in tandem with the Royal Institute of British Architects.