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.
‘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.’
Saturday June 23rd was a day to remember in Havant, not just for us local residents, but also for two young residents of Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA. Tom (aged 5) and William (aged 3) landed at Heathrow at 7:00 am with their journalist mum ( a Fairfield School pupil from the era of Mrs. Lawrence) and dad (a journalist and author from New Jersey).
Granddad had made the early trip up to Heathrow to pick them up and by 11:00 am the entire family were down at ‘The Spring’ watching the Wickham Morris and joining in with the terrific celebrations laid on by the Friends of Havant Cemeteries. After a quick lunch these two young lads were introduced – ‘re-introduced’ as far as mum and granddad were concerned – to the Fairfield School Strawberry Fayre. A enjoyable afternoon was had by all.
It’s hard to think of a better introduction to England. A warm ‘thank you’ to both the FoHC and Fairfield School for laying on such great local entertainment for the townsfolk of Havant.
Type ‘Havant’, or your postcode, into the box at the top left and click on the blue symbol
Click on Havant, Havant, Hampshire
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Once you’ve done that, why stop at Havant? Zoom out, drag the map around and zoom in on your other favourite places. It’s this use of ‘Big Data’, along with sites like those shown on our ‘Local Travel‘ page, which make the internet worth having.
Not quite in the town centre, but well worth a visit is the Making Space studio site in Bishopstoke Road, Leigh Park. A number of well known and established Hampshire and Sussex artists and craft experts run courses at Making Space and the seven small studios on the site are rented out to local artists who are well worth visiting. Take the link to the site to learn more.
Havant Civic Society is not allied to any other group or organisation, but some of our aims overlap to some extent with those of The Museum; several of our members already belong to Friends of Havant Museum or the local history group. I am attaching information about these groups in case they are of interest to you.
Havant History Group meets in the Oyster Room at The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre at 10am on the first Saturday of the month. There is no charge and our talks are given by members. Come along and give it a try. For further information please contact The Spring on 023 9247 2700.