Swindon's 'View To A Kill' warehouse given listed status

 
The Spectrum building, Swindon Renault's former distribution centre was designed by Lord Norman Foster
The Spectrum building, Swindon Renault moved out of its futuristic distribution centre in 2001
The Spectrum building, Swindon It was also used as a backdrop in A View To A Kill in 1984 starring Roger Moore

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A yellow-roofed warehouse in Swindon that featured in a James Bond film has been given Grade II*-listed status.

The Spectrum building, Renault's former distribution centre, was designed by Lord Foster and opened in 1982.

Featuring yellow steel "umbrella masts", the futuristic single-storey glass-walled building was also used as a backdrop in A View To A Kill in 1984.

Roger Bowdler, from English Heritage, said it was "one of the very finest examples of a hi-tech building".

Famous for his steel and glass designs, Lord Foster created the Gherkin and Millennium Bridge in London, rebuilt Berlin's Reichstag and also Hong Kong Airport.

The headquarters he designed for Renault cars in Swindon has now been given Grade II*-listed status by English Heritage in a move to "protect post-war architecture".

"On the face of it, a distribution centre in Swindon is not the most obvious candidate," said Mr Bowdler.

"But it has high national interest."

Roger Moore scenes

The building saw the last of the car manufacturer's workers move out when Renault closed its operations there in 2001.

Since then, the 25,000 sq m building has housed a car seat manufacturer, a soft indoor play centre and a firm that produces DVDs.

It was also chosen by the Bond films production team to shoot several scenes with Roger Moore in his final outing in the role.

English Heritage has also listed a civil defence bunker in Gravesend, Kent, an electricity substation in Moore Street, Sheffield, and Capel Manor House near Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Almost 700 post-war buildings have been listed in the past 25 years.

 

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  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 79.

    I'm in favour of the availability of listing for valued buildings.

    I can't see the setting, or other aspects of this one well enough, to say whether I support it in this case.

    However, once done, the penalties for damaging them should be more of a deterrent than at present.

    Developers have even claimed to have demolished them "by accident".

  • rate this
    -5

    Comment number 76.

    I think we've got to stop and look at this habit of "listing" buildings, across the country we're going to start to get crumbling and decaying eyesores that nobody can afford to maintain just because there's something saying you can't knock it down or modify it unless done in a certain way.

    We live in a modern country, not a museum!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 71.

    I remember seeing this building being contructed, sat in the back of my dad's car as we drove by in 1982. As a 9 year old boy, I was very excited as I thought it was a rollercoaster track! It's always stuck in my mind for that. It's an icon for the town of Swindon, so I'm pleased to see EH have listed it.

  • rate this
    +10

    Comment number 42.

    Architecture, just like art, goes in and out of fashion. If we decided back in the 1960's that we no longer cared for Turner's work and disposed of it we would have lost some of the finest examples of his genre.
    Architecture and construction, in my opinion, is no different. The workmanship, design and craft should be recognised. Not all should be kept but the best examples need to be preserved

  • rate this
    +14

    Comment number 27.

    Preservation of some of the worst examples of achitecture may be a way of reminding people not to make the same mistake again

 

Comments 5 of 8

 

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