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Grade II listing for Norman Foster’s Sainsbury Centre

18 January 2013 No Comment

The famed Sainsbury Centre located at the University of East Anglia, created by architect Norman Foster, has been awarded grade II listing by Ed Vaizey.


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The minister for culture, communications and creative industries made the announcement over the festive period; attributing the move to the building being “by any standards, a modern classic”. He also called its creation a “high point” of Britain’s “high-tech movement”, bdonline.co.uk reports.

Building’s historic significance  and innovative design

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The grade II listing was also granted on the grounds of the building’s historic significance, as well as its innovative design (which utilises metal cladding), value and ‘flexibility’, reports confirmed.

Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

Created in 1977, the art museum (which houses much of the work done by Lady and Lord Sainsbury) utilises a modular structure that would allow architects to expand the building in the future, if needs be.


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A collaborative approach to the project

Norman Foster himself seemed delighted by the move, stating that back in 1974 when the idea first came about, he could never have predicted how popular the building would become.

Cited by archdaily.com, he went on to say:

“A building is only as good as its client and the architecture of the Sainsbury Centre is inseparable from the enlightenment and the driving force of the Sainsburys themselves and the support of the University of East Anglia.”


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Foster’s belief in this collaborative approach is so strong that he even went on to call the museum something he had built “together” with the Sainsburys and the university.

Author: Deborah Bates    Date Written: 18 January 2013

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