On the advice of English Heritage, architecture minister Ed Vaizey has listed Norman Foster’s first major public building: the 1977 Sainsbury Centre at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, in the United Kingdom. According to BDOnline, the popular public art museum, which houses the collection of Lord and Lady Sainsbury, was granted grade II* protection for its innovative engineering, fine design, historic association, flexibility and group value. Its revolutionary design features an innovative, prefabricated modular structure that is cleverly designed to allow for subsequent extension.
Vaizey described: “Norman Foster’s design for the Sainsbury Centre is recognized around the world as a high point of the British ‘high-tech’ movement and, by any standards, a modern classic.”
Read Foster’s response after the break.
Foster stated: “My first meeting with Sir Robert and Lady Sainsbury was around this time of year, almost 40 years ago. On the morning of New Year’s Day 1974 I arrived for what I was told would be a brief meeting about a possible museum project. Little did I know the extent to which that meeting would influence my future as an architect and also my personal life.”
“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. I am delighted that the significance of the museum that we created together has been recognized by this listing.”