In this episode of our ‘Inside the Archive’ series we join Gayle Mault, former Associate Partner in Communications at Foster + Partners, leads us through her time at the studio. Originally arriving as a freelancer, Mault eventually stayed with the studio for ten years as part of a busy team which witnessed an expansion in the number of projects, and the resulting greater need for coordinated communication.
One great thing Mault notes is how the Communications team was always at the hub of current matters; “a little ball of centrifusion” around which the daily business of the studio circulated. Although Norman Foster was a presence in the studio, Mault only began working directly with him when the first steps were made for establishing the Norman Foster Foundation in Madrid.
Prior to transportation, Mault recalls the process of working out where all the items would go in their new home and how they would be organised. While working on site, the restored building’s “stunning beauty” seemed a manifestation of everything the new Foundation was created for, and it proved the ideal location to display Norman Foster’s “lifetime of extraordinary work”.
For Mault, architectural design involves human experience and how best a building’s achievements can be communicated. One “radical” way of articulating this was Norman Foster’s commission from cartoonist Frank Dickens to produce images which demonstrated how the Willis Faber and Dumas office in Ipswich directly improved the working environment.