The landmark Schlumberger Gould Research Center in Cambridge, England, has been listed by the British Heritage Minister as Grade II*, the second highest ranking offered by Historic England.
Designed by Sir Michael Hopkins, “The Schlumberger Gould Research Centre is an extremely important piece of high-tech architecture by one of the leading British architects of recent times,” says Roger Bowler, director of listing for Historic England. “It is of more than special interest as a flexible and highly prestigious building which promoted the company and reflected the advanced design and technology of its products.”
The Research Centre features a glass-fiber fabric roof which diffuses light and gives the feeling of airiness and space. Other innovative elements included glazed partitioning, a central meeting area in the Winter Garden and open plan meeting places. “The building has also survived remarkably intact, significantly contributing to its high degree of special interest,” states the press release.
“I am thrilled that our Schlumberger building is listed,” says Hopkins of Hopkins Architects. “Thinking back, it brings to mind two key players in the development of the design. Firstly, Bernard Vivet, director of research, who wanted the testing operations to be the heart of the building, rather than relegating these potentially dirty and noisy operations to the far end of the site. Secondly, Peter Studdert, planning officer, who encouraged a joyous roof, knowing it would be seen on the skyline from west Cambridge, together with King’s College Chapel and the University Library. Its appearance today, 30 years on, is a tribute to Schlumberger’s continuing care and upkeep.”
For more information, see www.historicengland.org.uk