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‘Modern Classic’ Sainsbury Centre Grade II* listed

Ed Vaizey gives heritage recognition to Norman Foster building

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The multi award-winning Sainsbury Centre became Grade II* listed today, following a decision by Heritage Minister Ed Vaizey.

The University of East Anglia building, which opened in 1977, is by Norman Foster, one of Britain’s most distinguished modern architects and houses the art collection of Lord and Lady Sainsbury.

This follows expert advice from English Heritage, who cited as reasons for the grading its:

  • architectural innovation
  • design
  • historic association
  • flexibility
  • group value

“A high point of the British ‘hightech’ movement”

Ed Vaizey said:

“Norman Foster’s design for the Sainsbury Centre is recognised around the world as a high point of the British ‘high-tech’ movement and, by any standards, a modern classic. As well as standing comparison with any late 20th century building anywhere in the world, it is also superbly fit for purpose, thanks to innovative engineering coming together with very fine design.”

Lord Foster commented:

“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.”

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Published 21 December 2012