The Biography of a Building: How Robert Sainsbury and Norman Foster Built a Great Museum
1 Jan 2011
Thames & Hudson Ltd
"The Biography of a Building" tells the remarkable story of the Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia, built to contain Sir Robert and Lady Sainsbury's private collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures, and opened in April 1978. It begins with the history of the Sainsbury's collection, set beside the parallel journeys of three other private collectors and the museums they built to house their treasures. The heart of the account is the selection of Norman Foster as the architect, the identification of the site, the design and completion of the building, and the installation of the collection unfolds through a combination of incisive narrative and carefully selected quotations from Sir Robert Foster and the UEA authorities. The author then considers the role of the Sainsbury Centre as the launch pad for Fosters meteoric rise to fame and fortune, before returning to the building, the construction of an extension the Crescent Wing opened in 1991, and a major refurbishment completed in 2006.