Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
Spectrum building is awarded listed status
THE SPECTRUM warehouse, made famous in the 1984 James Bond film A View To A Kill has been given Grade II listed status.
Designed by Sir Norman Foster, one of the most prominent contemporary architects with a portfolio which includes The Gherkin, Millennium Bridge, Wembley Stadium and the restoration of the Reichstag in Berlin, the Spectrum warehouse was built in 1980 to serve as the Renault distribution centre.
Renault closed the centre in 2001 when it moved its operations to the East Midlands. Since then it has opened its doors to a CD and DVD manufacturer, car seat supplier TS Tech, and a children’s play area.
The design has won a number of awards, including the Financial Times Architecture at Work Award in 1984.
The imposing warehouse with its futuristic glass walls and yellow steel framework was transformed into an evil industrialist’s lair for the 007 film, which starred Roger Moore.
It has now been listed as part of English Heritage’s post-war preservation listings, which have listed more than 700 buildings in the past 25 years.
Emily Gee, head of designation for English Heritage, said: “We have been looking to celebrate the very best of 20th century architecture. It is a highly rigorous and selective process.
“This is a building designed by one of Britain’s foremost architects. It is an early and important design and one we should be really proud of.
“We consider the survival of a building, and this one was always intended to be flexible. It was designed to be able to change internally, which is what it has done.”
Last year, Patrick Anderson, a spokesman for the building’s owner, the Burford Group, said it would not support a movement to see it listed as it would restrict its commercial flexibility.
He said: “It’s not something we would back.
“It’s a relatively modern building and, at the moment, is at full occupancy. If any buildings do get listed, it can put tenants off, because they cannot do what they need to.
“When you are in a Victorian house and it is listed, that’s nice and quaint; but not when you are a logistics operator.
“Having said that, one of the benefits of being listed is that business rates are no longer payable on listed buildings, so it’s something for the council tax payer and the local authority.”
English Heritage says there will be minimal restrictions on planning development.
Emily added: “It is not about preserving the building, it is about capturing its character. The owner has taken excellent care of it.
“Once a building is listed from that point on listed building consent is required to change its character.
“But when it is a higher grade, like this one is, in the top 10 per cent of listed buildings, the local authority still make the decision on any planning permission but will consult with us while we work closely with the owners.”
Comments are closed on this article.