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Profab Steel Doors specified for the iconic Willis Building in Ipswich

The Willis Building

Profab Steel Doors were specified for the iconic Willis Building in Ipswich, originally designed by architect Norman Foster and constructed between 1970 and 1975.

Built as the national headquarters for Willis Faber and Dumas, an insurance company now known as Willis Tower Watson, the structure was to provide open plan office space for 1350 employees.  

The Willis Building was acknowledged as a landmark building in the development of the high tech architectural style in 1991 when it was given Grade I listed building status. At this time, it was the youngest building in Britain to gain the status.

The building offered a swimming pool (covered over in 1994 to provide additional office space) and a rooftop restaurant and garden – designed to encourage a greater sense of community. The curvilinear bronze glass curtain wall pushed the technology of the day to its limits.  Energy conscious design was incorporated into the structure with a deep plan insulating grass roof facilitating very good overall thermal performance. 

Initially designed for flexibility the Willis Building pioneered the use of raised office floors in anticipation of the information technology revolution.

The architects also designed the interior and chose the colour scheme, finishes and furniture. The modular steel partitions enclosing service areas are still finished in the original yellow.  Profab’s steel doors were specified for this area.

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