Foreign Office Architects

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About Foreign Office Architects

Foreign Office ArchitectsForeign Office Architects, FOA, was an internationally acclaimed architectural design studio headed by former husband and wife team Farshid Moussavi and Alejandro Zaera-Polo. The London based studio, which was established in 1993, specialized in architectural design, master planning, and interior design services for both public and private sector clients. Following the end of Moussavi and Zaera-Polo’s marriage, the cessation of the studio’s activities was announced in June 2011. The establishment of two new practices, FMA (Farshid Moussavi Architecture) and London/Barcelona based AZPA Limited followed.

Foreign Office Architects ‘ name was an allusion to the heritage of its principals with Zaera Polo hailing from Spain and Moussavi Iran. its office has projects in Japan, the United States, the Netherlands and Spain.”

Foreign Office Architects emerged as one of the most significant architecture and urban design practices of its time, and become known for combining technical innovation with design excellence. Foreign Office Architects has produced critically acclaimed and award-winning projects. In their approach to architecture, Foreign Office Architects are new pragmatists, bringing to bear great technical rigor in their focus on organic growth and the evolution of design ‘species’ hybridizing uses relating to both local and global conditions. The work unfolds rigorously through a broad variety of locations and typologies.

The studio’s first project and that which it is still most famously associated with, the Yokohama Pier Port Terminal in Japan, has been described as a hybrid of non-Cartesian industrial infrastructure and versatile social functionality that was won as a result of an international competition held in 1995 and was completed in 2002.The work of the practice has branched into a very broad range of typologies and geographical locations and client types, rigorously developed to suit the particular conditions and programmatic requirements.

Foreign Office Architects has won several prestigious competitions and commissions, including the BBC Music Box for the firm’s White City complex in 2003, which was widely exhibited but the client has yet to commit to build it. The practice played a central creative role in the Masterplanning team for the London 2012 Olympics Park, site-wide infrastructure and accompanying long-term regeneration of the Lower Lea Valley (2002–2007) and was selected as part of the United Architects team to submit a design for the World Trade Center in New York in 2002, in the aftermath of 9/11.