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File:Foster - Willis Faber and Dumas Headquarters Ipswich.jpg

Willis Faber and Dumas Headquarters, in Ipswich, England (also known as the 'Willis building'). This building was one of Norman Foster's first major commissions. Constructed between 1970 and 1975, it is now a landmark in the development of the 'high tech' building style.

The building houses 1300 office staff in open plan offices spread over three floors. The central escalator well, leads up to a roof top staff restaurant surrounded by a roof top garden ( 360 panorarma).

The bulbous floorplan of the office block reflects the layout of the available site in the centre of Ipswich, which is sandwiched between several road junctions.

The centre of the building is constructed from a grid of concrete pillars, 14 meters apart, supporting cantilevered concrete slab floors. The exterior is clad in a dark smoked glass curtain wall.

Keywords: Norman Foster, Willis Faber and Dumas building, Ipswich, high tech architecture, office building, curtain wall

Photograph © Andrew Dunn, 11 August 2005.
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