Working with Apple founder left Foster & Partners ‘wiser as architects’

Norman Foster has paid tribute to Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple who has died aged 56, calling him “so much more than a client”.

Foster’s practice was hired by Apple to design its new campus in Cupertino, California. Images of the “spaceship” design attracted widespread interest when they were revealed this summer.

Remarking that Jobs’ inventions had “profoundly and positively influenced” millions of lives, Foster said they were privileged to know him as a “friend and in every way so much more than a client”.

He added: “Steve was an inspiration and a role model. He encouraged us to develop new ways of looking at design to reflect his unique ability to weave backwards and forwards between grand strategy and the minutiae of the tiniest of internal fittings.

“For him no detail was small in its significance and he would be simultaneously questioning the headlines of our project together whilst he delved into its fine print.

“He was the ultimate perfectionist and demanded of himself as he demanded of others. We are better as individuals and certainly wiser as architects through the experience of the last two years and more of working for him. His participation was so intense and creative that our memory will be that of working with one of the truly great designers and mentors.”

The doughnut-shaped Apple HQ will contain 260,000sq m of offices and R&D space, among other facilities. It is due to be completed in 2015.