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
    +1

    Comment number 84.

    Regarding the reasons, given that it has a 'high national interest' if you put a picture of the building in front of a group from around the UK I doubt anyone would know where it was.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 83.

    As a building it probably epitomises and reinforces most people's view of Swindon!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 82.

    @ 72.

    Touche . And I'm delighted you recognised the magnitude of my insult!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 81.

    80, you should see Preston Bus Station which is an absolutely disgusting building, with a car park over. This dreadful building has been under threat for many years, Unfortunately there are plans to try and force it to become a listed building, if this does happen this could not be changed or preferably knocked down, Preston needs modernising, but if won't happen if it becomes a listed building

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 80.

    How much more rubbish are we going o have to contend with in the name of presevation.

  • 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
    +2

    Comment number 78.

    Which bit of "A View to a Kill" is this building in?....

    I don't recall it......was it the Director's Cut?

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 77.

    #76 "We live in a modern country, not a museum!"

    And yet every country in the developed world lists historic buildings in this way. I think some people assume that this is a peculiarly British thing. It certainly isn't. Some countries actually list far more than this - in Germany, for instance, pretty much every pre-1920 building is listed.

  • 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
    -4

    Comment number 75.

    Not really being a modernist I actually like the Barbican Centre in London, that is worth listing. The Warehouse above is non-descript and I think only warranted it's listing through its film connection.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 74.

    #49

    No idea what point you're making. Maybe you're confusing English Heritage listing of English historic buildings with UNESCO listing of world heritage sites? Only a minute fraction of buildings get the latter status, including only a handful in Britain. The building under discussion is on the English list, not the international list. Or do you think EH should be listing buildings in Pakistan?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 73.

    "5.The Smoking Gnu

    Ha! And me. I remember studying this building at university when it 'cutting edge'; does that officially make me old?"

    Wait until a building you remember working on setting out on a grassy site has now been demolished, then you can justifiably feel old.
    It was quite a nice school as well...

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 72.

    70.Steve Somers

    "Annoying I guess to someone who probably votes for UKIP"

    ===

    Haha!

    If you follow my posts you'll see much of my time is devoted to baiting You-Kippers.

    Don't assume.

  • 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
    0

    Comment number 70.

    @58

    "They're usually full of crap" - have you taken your laxative today? What "they" are is full of thought. Annoying I guess to someone who probably votes for UKIP

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 69.

    Handsome is as handsome does.

    This is what a building should do:

    Endure with little maintenance.

    Sympathise or contrast satisfyingly with its surroundings visually.

    Fulfil its functional purpose properly.

    Not cause any problem, e.g. by focussing the sun's rays, making the street windy, too dark, etc.

    If some other purpose is assigned, such as publicising it's designer, well...

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 68.

    The architect behind Paris's inside out Pompidou Centre, Richard Rogers, is famous for designing modernist buildings, yet lives in a grade II-listed Georgian town house.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 67.

    It's buildings like this that the nation should be proud of.

    Knocking down eyesores like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and Tower Bridge is something we should be doing more of.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 66.

    What a daft title to this article. It's not the 'view to a kill' warehouse at all. Just another tenuous link that means nothing.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 65.

    42. Orkneyboom.

    Agree entirely. It's always easier to deal with (arbitrarily) lovely Houses and Castels, as we know what to use them for-leisure. I think EH need to factor this into their equation. This building definitaly has merit, with a delightful Victoriana in the beams.

 

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