The high-tech icon and location of the James Bond film, the Foster Renault Distribution Center, will be rehabilitated About architecture and more

Now, it has been announced that real estate company AEW is investing approximately €5.4 million to rehabilitate the building. With its bare structure, it is one of the clearest manifestations of the high-tech style that emerged in the 1960s.

The project will include resurfacing, repair and refurbishment of the steel structure and cladding. Work on the building is expected to be completed in May 2024.

Reno needed a flexible space with large open spaces for industrial warehouse racking and storage, reconfigured periodically throughout the life of the building. The 25,000 square meter building has a very distinctive appearance with a roof supported by 59 bright yellow masts and perforated steel beams.

In total, the structure consists of 42 square units measuring 24 meters by 24 meters each. Each unit has a PVC membrane roof stretched across a network of arched steel beams supported by ties attached to the masts at its corners.




Renault Distribution Center by Norman Foster. Photography by Richard Davies, courtesy of Foster + Partners.

36 of these units are arranged in a 9 x 4 grid, housing 20,000 square meters of storage space. Three more units were built to house a training school, workshops, offices and a restaurant for staff.

Foster Studio also designed most of the fixtures for Reno, including warehouse storage units and a range of office furniture.

The glass-topped tables, developed for studio desks, have been adapted for offices, catering and reception in the distribution facility. The tables were developed by the Italian furniture company Tecno and went on sale in 1986, and are still in production.

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In 2013, English Heritage The structure has been awarded Grade II* Listed for its innovative industrial project.

Renault Distribution Center by Norman Foster. Photography by Richard Davies, courtesy of Foster + Partners.


Project description by Foster + Partners

The Reno Center has been described as the company's most playful structure. However, its development owes much to earlier, and perhaps more conservative, schemes for clients such as Reliance Controls and Fred Olsen, which provided flexible and affordable buildings on tight timescales. The center was established as the French car manufacturer's main distribution facility in the UK. In addition to storage, it includes a showroom, training school, workshops, offices and a staff restaurant. The idea that good design pays off has almost become a cliché, but in this case it can be quantified: thanks to the design, the local planners who supported it increased the site's development limit from 50 to 67 percent, allowing for an area of ​​25,000 square metres. meters This is set within a single enclosure supported by brightly colored tubular masts and arching steel beams, forming a striking silhouette within the surrounding landscape.

The structural system that is repeated to form this exterior contour is based on a 24 x 24 meter bay, a much larger than usual planning unit developed to maximize planning flexibility for the interior spaces. This extended horizontal extension is combined with a clear internal height of 7.5 metres, allowing the center to adapt to a variety of uses, from industrial warehouse shelving to subdivision to office floors. Surrounded by a continuous PVC membrane roof, perforated by glass panels on each mast, the building is also stepped at one end, narrowing to a single open bay that forms an entrance alongside a double-height gallery. Primarily a showroom, as evidenced by the suspended car structures, the gallery has been used by Renault as a popular venue for artistic and social events, encouraging wider community engagement in the building.

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astronomy. Renault Distribution Center by Norman Foster. Image courtesy of Foster + Partners.

However, as far as its interior spaces are concerned, it is the building's almost yellow Renault shell that gives the center such a distinctive character. It is worth noting that this created an image so memorable that the building, unique among the company's facilities, did not need to carry the Renault logo. In fact, it is so closely associated with the brand that Renault has used it for many years as a backdrop in its advertising campaigns.

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