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The Willis Building. #71 of 365 | by In my hands they crumble
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The Willis Building. #71 of 365

71st day of 2012. We went into town today with my brother for a quick look in a couple of shops. We took a slightly different route back to the car which took us past this building. I have always been facinated with this building since I was very young. My mum used to work in there, and since then I have known several other people who work in there. I used to swim in the staff pool when I was little, but then they closed it. The glass 'walls' are only fixed at the top and just hang there. I couldn't help but notice the reflection that was so clear today and just had to stop and take a picture.

For anyone who may be interested, here is some information about the building taken from


The Willis building in Ipswich, England (originally the Willis Faber and Dumas Headquarters ) is one of the earliest buildings designed by Norman Foster after establishing Foster Associates. Constructed between 1970 and 1975 for the insurance firm now known as Willis Group Holdings, it is now seen as a landmark in the development of the 'high tech' architectural style. The building houses some 1,300 office staff in open plan offices spread over three floors.


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 and the Grade I listed Unitarian Meeting House, one of Ipswich's oldest surviving buildings. Thus two of the town's Grade I listed buildings stand side by side.


The centre of the building is constructed from a grid of concrete pillars, 14 m (46 ft) apart, supporting cantilevered concrete slab floors. The exterior is clad in a dark smoked glass curtain wall. The central escalator well leads up to a rooftop staff restaurant surrounded by a rooftop garden (360 panorama).

Originally there was also a swimming pool for employees to enjoy during their lunch break. This has now been covered up (not filled in due to it being a listed building) and the space is used for more offices. The swimming pool can be seen underneath the false floor.


In 1991 the Willis building became the youngest building to be given Grade I listed building status in Britain. At the time it was one of only two listed buildings under 30 years of age.[

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Taken on March 11, 2012