The headquarters for Willis Faber & Dumas challenged accepted thinking about the office building and established Foster + Partners’ reputation for democratic, flexibly planned workplaces.
Primarily conceived with a spirit of equality, the architectural innovations of Willis Faber & Dumas included the use of escalators in a three-storey structure, as well as the social dimension offered by its swimming pool, roof-top restaurant and garden. Designed for long-term flexibility, the building pioneered the use of raised office floors, which anticipated the revolution in information technology. Externally, the building was equally distinguished for its state-of-the-art glass façade, and its free-form plan, which responded to the medieval street pattern. This monograph follows the building’s evolution from concept through execution, including numerous illustrations and comprehensive essays, and will appeal to those interested in architecture and design.
Norman Foster is the Founder and Chairman of Foster + Partners, one of the most respected international architectural practices. He was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1999 and the Praemium Imperiale in 2002; and in 2009 he became the twenty-ninth laureate of the Prince of Asturias Award for Arts. He was granted a knightood in 1990 and was appointed to the Order of Merit in 1997.