Fonds Foreign Office Architects
The fonds documents the professional practice and activities of the Foreign Office Architects between circa 1989 and 2011, with a primary focus on their architectural, design, and exhibition projects. Additionally, the fonds includes various publications that featured the work of the Foreign Office Architects. The fonds is arranged into five series: Projects; Publications and Promotional Material; Office Records; Personal Slides; Reference and Research Material.
The fonds fluctuates in its comprehensiveness, with some projects being well documented from competition stage through to completion, while others are represented by only a few drawings, slides or a single book of presentation material. The most thoroughly documented projects include the Yokohama International Ferry Port Terminal, Japan (1995-2004), the Belgo Restaurants in London and New York City (1998-1999), the Link Quay Waterfront Competition, Santa Cruz de Tenerife (1998-2006), the South East Coastal Park & Auditorium, Barcelona, Spain (2000-2004), the Watermark West Quay Development, Southampton, England (2002-2010), the Trinity EC3 Office Complex, London, England (2003-2007), and the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, England (2003-2012).
The Projects Series consists primarily of computer-aided drawings, including design-development, construction, and presentation drawings, as well as renderings of computer-generated models and hardcopies of plans. Many projects are documented with photographic material and supported by textual records, chiefly correspondence via fax, and planning and design notes. A small amount of projects also include original sketches, models, and presentation panels.
The Publications and Promotional Material series is minimal, and consists primarily of textual records, chiefly correspondence that is often accompanied by small sketches or notes. It documents firm publicity and the publishing of books. It notably includes graphic material for a book by the Foreign Office Architects titled Phylogenesis: Foa's Ark, published by Actar in 2003, images of their site-specific installation in the British Pavilion for the 2002 Venice Biennale, and formal portraits of Moussavi and Zaera-Polo by London-based photographer Valerie Bennett.
The Office Records series consists of requests for qualifications and competition entries submitted to by the firm, administrative files, and awards and award documentation.
The Personal Slides series consists of slides of personal travels from the collection of Farshid Moussavi and Alejandro Zaera-Polo.
The Reference and Research Material series consists of general office resources, slides of architectural details, and a collection of other architects work for research purposes.
Original audiovisual materials require specialized equipment for playback and are not available for consultation.
Material in the fonds was packed for shipment by a shipping company after the disolution of th FOA offices in 2011. The material arrived with no discernible order with project material from multiple projects in the same boxes.
In 2014, Talia Olshefsky arranged the material into three series:
Series AP171.S1: Projects
Series AP171.S2: Office Documentation
Series AP171.S3: Reference
Within series 1 and 2 there was multiple subseries. The material was re-grouped and re-housed by project. The archivist arranged the projects chronologically starting with the earliest. The material within projects was processed by material type as necessary.
In 2021, Nina Patterson reprocessed the fonds to eliminate subseries and rearrange the fonds into five series:
Series AP171.S1: Projects
Series AP171.S2: Publications and Promotional Material
Series AP171:S2:Office Records
Series AP171.S4: Personal Slides
Series AP171.S5: Reference and Research Material
The born-digital component of the archive was unfinished from the first processing of the fonds. In between 2022-2023, Nina Patterson re-disk imaged the carriers and rearranged the material to reflect the new arrangement. High-level folders in the directory structure have been described as discrete groups and arranged into the approriate project or series. Within the directories, material has not been rearranged.
Foreign Office Architects Ltd (FOA)
The London-based architectural firm the Foreign Office Architects Ltd (FOA) was established by Farshid Moussavi and Alejandro Zaera-Polo in the early 1990s, and formally registered as a firm in 1995. The firm practiced both architecture and urban design, and self-described as being “dedicated to the exploration of contemporary urban conditions, lifestyles and construction technologies.” The firm was involved in a wide variety of projects, including housing developments, department stores, restaurants, office complexes, urban parks, auditoriums, railway stations, ferry terminals and furniture design. The international practice existed until April 2011, at which time Moussavi and Zaera-Polo dissolved the Foreign Office Architects and formed their own independent practices.
The Foreign Office Architects participated in numerous international exhibitions and expositions, including events in Spain, England, Japan, France, Portugal, Finland, Austria, Sweden, the USA, and two Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibitions. Their multiple awards and honours include a Biennale Venezia Golden Lion Award (2004), a Royal Institute of British Architects Award (2005), a Premio AD Arquitecto del Año award (2007), and a BD Architect of the Year Award in the category of Retail Architect (2008).
Published monographs include:
FOA’s Ark_Evolving Container for the Proliferating Singularities
Korean Architecture and Culture Magazine
South Korea, December 2004
Phylogenesis: FOA’s Ark
Published by Actar, Barcelona
Complexity and Consistency
A monograph by ElCroquis, No.115/116
Madrid, Spain, 2003
The Yokohama Project
Published by Actar
Barcelona, Spain, 2002
FOA Recent Projects
Published as 2G, No. 16
Barcelona, Spain, 2002
Alejandro Zaera-Polo is an internationally acclaimed architect, professor, and author. He was born in Madrid, Spain, in 1963. He holds a Diploma of Architecture with Honours from the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura, Madrid, Spain, and a Masters in Architecture with Distinction (MARCHII) from the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University.
Zaera-Polo established his own London-based practice in 1993 as ‘Foreign Office Architects ltd’ (FOA), together with Farshid Moussavi. In 2011 the firm was split into two independent practices, with Zaera-Polo forming his own practice, ‘Alejandro Zaera-Polo Architecture Limited’ (AZPA). In 2013, Zaera-Polo partnered with Maider Llaguno, a former FOA architect, to form ‘Alejandro Zaera-Polo and Maider Llaguno Architecture’ (AZPML).
His academic posts include serving as Dean of the Princeton University School of Architecture (2012-2014), Dean of the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam (2002-2006), a Visiting Critic at the University of California Los Angeles (2002), Princeton University (1999), Columbia University (1998) and the Berlage Institute of Architecture, Amsterdam (1997-2002), and serving as an Associate Professor of Design at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura, Madrid (1992-1995).
Zaera-Polo has lectured internationally, at academic institutions, congresses, and symposiums, and as a theorist his writings have appeared in international publications including El Croquis, Quaderns, A+U, Arch+, Volume and Log. In 2010, he authored the book The Sniper's Log: Architectural Chronicles of Generation-X.
Farshid Moussavi is an internationally acclaimed architect, professor, and author. She was born in Shiraz, Iran, in 1965. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Dundee University, Scotland, a Diploma of Architecture at University College London, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UK, and a Masters in Architecture (MARCHII) from the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University.
Moussavi established her own London-based practice in 1993 as ‘Foreign Office Architects ltd’ (FOA), together with Alejandro Zaera-Polo. In 2011, the firm was split into two independent practices, with Moussavi forming her own practice, ‘Farshid Moussavi Architecture Limited’ (FMA).
Moussavi has held the position of Professor in Practice of Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design since 2005. Her previous academic posts include Professor and Head of the Architecture Institute at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria (2002-2005), Kenzo Tange Visiting Design Critic at the Harvard Design School (2005), Unit Master at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London (1993-2000), a Visiting Professor at the University of California in Los Angeles (2002), Columbia University (1998; 2001), Princeton University (1999) and the Berlage Institute of Architecture, Amsterdam (1997), and a Design Professor at the Hoger Architectuur Instituut Sint-Lucas, Belgium (1993-1995).
Moussavi has lectured internationally, at academic institutions, congresses, and symposiums, and acted as a jury member for numerous international architectural competitions and awards. She was a member of the Board of Trustees of The Whitechapel Gallery from 2009-2018, as well as The Architecture Foundation in London, and has previously been a member of the advisory group to the British Council, the Mayor of London’s ‘Design for London’ initiative, the International Design Committee for the London Development Agency, the RIBA Gold and Presidential medals, and the Stirling Prize for Architecture. She has authored books that have been translated into several languages, including The Function of Ornament (2006), The Function of Form (2009), and The Function of Style (2014), and has been a contributing columnist for the Architectural Review magazine since September 2011. In 2018, Moussavi was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her services to architecture.
Foreign Office Architects fonds
Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal;
Don de Farshid Moussavi et Alejandro Zaera-Polo/
Gift of Farshid Moussavi and Alejandro Zaera-Polo
English, Dutch, Japanese, German, Spanish
Inscrivez-vous pour recevoir de nos nouvelles
Merci. Vous êtes maintenant abonné. Vous recevrez bientôt nos courriels.
Pour le moment, notre système n’est pas capable de mettre à jour vos préférences. Veuillez réessayer plus tard.
Vous êtes déjà inscrit avec cette adresse électronique. Si vous souhaitez vous inscrire avec une autre adresse, merci de réessayer.
Cete adresse courriel a été définitivement supprimée de notre base de données. Si vous souhaitez vous réabonner avec cette adresse courriel, veuillez contactez-nous
Veuillez, s'il vous plaît, remplir le formulaire ci-dessous pour acheter:
[Title of the book, authors]
ISBN: [ISBN of the book]
Prix [Price of book]
Merci d'avoir passé une commande. Nous vous contacterons sous peu.
Nous ne sommes pas en mesure de traiter votre demande pour le moment. Veuillez réessayer plus tard.