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PIONEERING MANAGEMENT GUIDELINES FOR
MODERN LISTED BUILDINGS
THE WILUS CORROON BUTLDING, IPSWICH
In July, English Heitage issued a
Guidance Note entitled ‘Developing guidelines for the management of listed buildings’ in which reference was made to the pioneering work
done in Ipswich. This article explains the background and publishes those Guidelines for the first time.

On 25 April 1991, the then Willis Faber building became the youngest building in Great Britain to receive statutory protection as a building of Special Architectural and Historic Interest when it was ‘spot’ listed Grade Ibythe Department of the Environment. At that stage, itwas one of only two buildings to fall outside the criteria that buildings must be at least 30 years old to be afforded statutory protection, the otherbeingThe EconomistBuilding, St James’s Street, London, designed byAffison & Peter Smithson in 1964 (and also listed in response to threatened alterations).
The buildingwaspurpose builtforthe international insurance brokers Willis Faber and Dumas (now known as Willis Con~oon) who were decentralising their operations from London, and was designed by Norman Foster in 1974-5. It is one of his principal works in this country. Its organic shape reflected a footprint which grew during the design stage as additional sites were acquired. Of concern to Foster during the design processwas the UnitarianMeeting House of 1699 (also listed Grade I) which was immediatelyadjacentandwhichiswidely regarded as the finest timber-framed nonconformist chapel of its date in England.
The Willis Faber building showed the architect’s concern for bringing social architecture into the business environment. A swimming pooi, snack bar and gymnasium for the employees was included on the ground floor; the open plan offices did not differentiate
between senior managers and other employees; and a rooftop restaurant and garden were provided. Such considerations were quite new when incorporated in this building.
There was also marked constructional innovation in the use of curtain wall glazing, the appearance of which was much copied - but without the same technical bravura.
The building has received numerous architectural honours, culminating in 1990 of the award of the first Trustees Medal of the RIBA, with the citation that itwas. . . “the finest building intheworid, designed byaBritish architect within the last 25 years”.

ThE ThREAT LEADING TO FORMAL PROTECTION
Early in 1991, the company was quoted inthe local press as stating that the swimming pool was to be ‘filled in’. This conjured up a perception of a threat to
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