The Renault Centre (or the Renault Distribution Centre) is a high tech[1] building in Swindon commissioned by the French car company Renault for their UK operations. Designed by the British architect Norman Foster of Foster Associates, it opened in 1982 and Renault moved out in 2001.

Renault Centre
The Spectrum Building, West Swindon - - 287906.jpg
Former namesRenault Distribution Centre
(until 2001)
Alternative namesThe Spectrum Building
(from 2001)
General information
Architectural styleStructural expressionism
LocationRivermead Industrial Estate
Town or citySwindon
Coordinates51°34′01″N 1°49′28″W / 51.566902°N 1.824343°W / 51.566902; -1.824343Coordinates: 51°34′01″N 1°49′28″W / 51.566902°N 1.824343°W / 51.566902; -1.824343
Groundbreaking27 July 1981
CompletedDecember 1982
CostGB£8,266,400 (1983 price)
Technical details
Size288m x 96m
Floor area58,500 m2
Grounds16 acres
Design and construction
Architecture firmFoster Associates
Structural engineerOve Arup & Partners
Quantity surveyorDavis Belfield Everest
Main contractorBovis Construction
DesignationsGrade II* listed

Since 2001 the building has been known as The Spectrum Building.[2] It was listed Grade II* by English Heritage in 2013.[3][4]


The Renault Distribution Centre

The architecture expressed not only the corporate ownership with the yellow of Renault used on all the structural elements, but also promoted a modern statement on industrial relations by using the same roof over the warehouse and office elements, making no distinction between white- and blue-collar workers.[5]

The structural engineer was Ove Arup & Partners. The cable stayed steel structural system provides a 24m column clear zone, with the columns of only 450mm diameter.

Renault commissioned the building in 1980 after outgrowing their premises in Reading. Planning permission was granted in June 1981, construction commenced July 1981 and practical completion was achieved in December 1982.

The building won several awards in 1984 including the Structural Steel Award, Civic Trust Award and Financial Times 'Architecture at Work' Award.[6]


  1. ^ Buchanan, Peter (July 1983). "High-Tech". Architectural Review. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  2. ^ "Spectrum building is awarded listed status". Swindon Advertiser. 21 September 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  3. ^ "Swindon's 'View To A Kill' warehouse given listed status". BBC News. 10 September 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  4. ^ Historic England. "The Spectrum Building, Swindon (1416061)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  5. ^ Abel, Chris (1991). Renault Centre : Swindon, 1982 : Architect, Norman Foster (1. publ. ed.). London: Architecture Design and Technology Press. ISBN 1854547763.
  6. ^ "The Spectrum Building (formerly the Renault Distribution Centre)". Historic England. Retrieved 7 April 2016.

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