Sunday, September 13, 2009

the Willis building, Ipswich

During the Heritage Open Days in Ipswich this weekend, I popped into the Willis building to have a gander. Designed by Norman Foster, it was constructed in the early seventies and is now recognised as great contemporary architecture. In 1991 the Willis was granted a Grade I listed building status. The exterior is a curved wall of smoked glass. On top of the building lies a blanket of perfectly mowed lawn. Inside has three floors of open plan office with main esculators running up and down through the middle. The building once had a swimming pool but was retired in the early 90s and covered to accommodate more worker bees. You can still still see the empty pool through glass slits in the floor. Though the building retains a rather funky seventies taste, I think it succeeds as a timeless aesthetic.

Exterior + details.

Interior + details.

Literature for the open day.

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