IBM PLANT LANGSTONE, HAVANT The IBM Havant Plant, at Langstone, was cleverly designed to blend into its surroundings and situated close to the newly-opened A27 (1965). Set back down a long drive and west of Bosmere Field, it was built on a grass mound, which housed various facilities.
The Plant was designed by Arup Associates and in 1972 it won the prestigious Financial Times Award for Industrial Architecture. The original office complex, including a systems assembly plant and computer centre, was completed in 1971. It was subsequently added to in the late 1970s, also by Arup Associates.
1972 ARUP TO THE FORE IN FT AWARDS (Source: VADS Online Resource for the Visual Arts)
‘The name of Arup looms large in the Financial Times Awards for Industrial Architecture 1972, recently announced. The winning building, IBM’s new plant at Havant, Hampshire, was designed by Arup Associates, as was one of the five commended buildings, the Oxford Mail and Times building. The parent practice, Ove Arup and Partners, acted as consultant engineers to a second commended building, Bernat Klein’s design studio in Galashiels, designed by Peter Womersley.’
Arup Associates was a major presence on the British architectural scene for more than half a century, emerged from the famous engineering consultancy founded by Ove Arup in 1946 and reflected Arup’s own vision of ‘total design’, formed in the 1930s in his ground-breaking collaborations with Berthold Lubetkin. With architects, engineers and other professionals working in groups, it offered a uniquely interdisciplinary approach to the design of buildings.
The former IBM Plant is an important part of Havant’s heritage and should be added to the Havant Borough List of Buildings of Local Interest.
Supporting Information and Images.
‘Arup Associates’ is now known as global Arup Architecture. https://www.arup.com/expertise/services/buildings/architecture
Historic England website.https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/arup-associates/
‘Sugden’s thorough experience of steelwork broadened the practice’s expertise, and he came to specialise in factories. As well as working as construction engineers, the firm was designing increasing numbers of its own buildings, and in 1963 it formed an independent multi-disciplinary practice, Arup Associates, with Sugden as one of the four founding partners. The New Museums site at Cambridge and work for IBM at Havant and Portsmouth were among his most important works.’