Norman Foster interview: Reliance Controls dissolved traditional boundaries | Architecture | Dezeen



British architect Norman Foster reflects on his first high-tech building and how it shaped offices to come, in this exclusive video produced by Dezeen.

Named after the electronics manufacturer that commissioned the building, Reliance Controls was an industrial facility located in Swindon in Southwest England.

Completed in 1967, the building was the last to be designed by Team 4, an architecture practice comprising Foster, Richard Rogers, Su Brumwell and Wendy Cheesman, before the group disbanded.

The single-storey rectangular shed, which was designed to house the company’s factory and offices, was one of the first buildings labelled as high-tech – a style of architecture that Foster defines as a celebration of a building’s functional components.

“High-tech is something to do with the expression of the technology – the means by which the building stands,” the award-winning architect told Dezeen in an exclusive interview at his London practice.

Reliance Controls was the first building to dissolve the traditional boundaries between factory workers and office workers. “There was only a glass screen that would separate the assembly line for electronics from those who are managing the sales force,” said Foster. “They would all share the same kitchen and dining facilities, the same bathrooms. That we take for granted now but at that time it was it was really revolutionary – unheard of.”

Read more on Dezeen: https://www.dezeen.com/?p=1442034

WATCH NEXT: Richard Rogers interview: Wimbledon house – https://youtu.be/SYa3Fsx-4cU

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