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The Willis Building

Friars Street, Ipswich IP1 1TD, England
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Ranked #18 of 74 attractions in Ipswich
Type: Architectural Buildings, Landmarks/ Points of Interest
Traveler Description: This building was one of the first designed by famed architect Sir Norman Foster. Built in the 1970's it remains one of the regions modern... more »
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18 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Dublin, Ireland
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
19 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2014

I have never been inside, but was impressed by the structure and design of this building as I walked by it one day roaming around the town.

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Sussex, England
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
29 attraction reviews
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2014

An absolutely beautiful example of the best 1970s architecture, the Willis building is well worth looking for in Ipswich. Actually, quite a bit of Ipswich centre is architecturally beautiful, with some stunning churches, delightful Tudor houses and impressive Georgian buildings. The Willis building holds up well against them all.

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Ipswich, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2014

Absolutely beautiful building, even today. Its a shame the rest of Ipswich town centre didn't develop. It could have been a very beautiful side to the town - Ipswich's Canary Wharf if you like.

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Colchester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
23 attraction reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

Norman Foster built this modern building in the early 1970's for the multinational Insurance Company Willis. It is listed and originally had a swimming pool on the ground floor but has since been closed and used for office space, you can still see the original markings for the pool in the office. The roof has a garden with views all... More

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Cambridge, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
174 reviews 174 reviews
90 attraction reviews
189 helpful votes 189 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2013

I like photography so enjoyed getting some shots of the reflections from the dark glass of the surrounding buildings.

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Ipswich, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
16 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

built between 1970-75 this building is a great bit of architecture ..... sitting the centre of town it is made of glass black panels 3 floors high... nice to view at night when the lights have been left on inside .... just a shame more of the buildings in town aren't like this ... very photo-genic....

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Ipswich, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

If there's an open day take the chance and visit this famous building. i love the garden on the roof!

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Suffolk
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
15 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

This building was way ahead of it's time when built and won several awards. Because of it's iconic status, it's now frozen in time and much of what you see cannot be altered. Know to many as "The Gold Fish Bowl", if you haven't been in this building, look out for the occasional open days. They are often at short... More

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Suffolk UK
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
17 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

First saw the 'slug' in the early 80's and thought it was a fantastic design that hugged the corner of Princes Street with such panache and how clever to see the surrounding buildings mirrored in the external cladding. I Some 30 years later I still think it is an iconic building that has really stood the test of time. I... More

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Cambridge, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
11 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2012

I have been inside this building and on the roof top. The architecture is fairly timeless and the cafe inside is top notch. I especially like the fact that it sits right next to an 18th century building and the contrast is stunning. It's an icon of Ipswich.

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