Reliance Controls factory by Team 4 was a "democratic pavilion" - architecture and design

Reliance Controls factory by Team 4 was a "democratic pavilion"



Continuing our high-tech architecture series we look at Reliance Controls, the last building that two of the giants of high-tech architecture ? Richard Rogers and Norman Foster ? designed together at Team 4.
Completed in 1967, the small factory and office in Swindon was the first high-tech industrial building. It was the final building designed by Team 4 ? a studio made up of Rogers and Foster, along with Su Brumwell and Wendy Cheeseman, which split into Richard and Su Rogers Architects, and Foster Associates.

The building was designed to house both the factory and offices for Reliance Controls, a manufacturer of precision electronic instruments. The company wanted a building that would be a radical, modern statement that would reflect the change it was making by relocating from London to Swindon. Team 4 designed a single, rectangular shed for the company to house the factory floor and office under one roof. The building's structure was clearly visible, something that would become a hallmark of high-tech architecture.
"If you take a building like Reliance Controls, it's a very clear expression of the structure," Foster told Dezeen.

All of the building's functions were contained within the same regular, industrial-looking structure, something that was extremely unusual at the time. The management and workers all shared the same entrance and restaurant.
"I call it an industrial pavilion because socially it challenged the precepts of the kind of management box...
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