Willis Faber & Dumas Headquarters

Foster + Partners, Ipswich, 1975


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A night view showing the buildings transparency 

Nigel Young     Download Original

  • A night view showing the buildings transparency    
  • Entrance view     
  • Close view up facade surface    
  • View from street level showing high refectivity of facade    
  • The adjacent buildings reflections seen in the facade    
  • Entirely open plan offices    
  • Interior space    
  • Swimming pool on the ground floor    
  • Exterior smooth finish encloses complex design in this space frame roof structure    
  • External view showing plant room through glazed wall    
  • Interal view showing central circulation area and roof structure    
  • Reflective ceiling treatment in the office areas    
  • The office areas unfurnished    
  • View of interior spaces with roof garden in background    
  • Cafe and roof garden    
  • Three tiered stairway    
  • View from adjacent rooftop    
  • View from first floor showing entrance and reception    
  • Roof garden    
  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Second floor plan    
  • Roof plan    
  • Exploded axonometric    
  • Structural plan    
  • Section    
  • Site sections office showing in heavy outline    
  • Sectional perspctive through perimeter    
  • Elevation of escalator    
  • Concept sketch    
  • Aerial view of site before development    
  • Perspective drawing from unitarian gardens    
  • Norman Foster    
  • Detail of glazing system    
  • Sectional perspective through one floor and ceiling    

Office for insurance company Willis Faber & Dumas with a swimming pool, roof-top garden and restaurant

The building houses some 1,300 office staff in open-plan offices spread over three floors and features the innovative use of escalators in a three-storey structure through the central atrium.

Outside, in contrast, the building reinforces rather than confronts the urban grain, with its free-form plan and low-rise construction responding to the to the scale of surrounding buildings, while its curved facade maintains a relationship to the medieval street pattern.


  • Begun: 1973
  • Completed: 1975
  • Floor area: 21,000m2
  • Sector: Office
  • Address: 15 Friars Street, Ipswich, IP1 1TD, United Kingdom

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