One of Swindon’s most iconic buildings reopens as the 20,000 square foot Kidz About indoor play centre in early July.
Designed for Renault as a vehicle parts distribution centre by Sir Norman Foster and completed in 1983 on Mead Way, Westlea, although now called Spectrum, most people still refer to it as the Renault building.
With shells of cars hanging from the roof of the large glass atrium at the southern end of the structure, the floor was a showroom for Renault products. The building won the Financial Times architecture award in 1984 and featured in the 1985 Bond movie A View to a Kill, starring Roger Moore.
Renault moved its parts distribution operation out the town in 2001. Since then the building has had a number of temporary uses, such as a Swindon College art gallery and most notably as a showroom and service centre for Ford.
The striking pillars holding the building up continue to be painted in ‘Renault yellow’ and from Saturday 2 July, the atrium will be filled with a huge multi-coloured play frame rising to over 6.5 metres, an astra-slide, a drop-slide and a spiral slide, an indoor football pitch, a toddler play space, as well as a separate baby area, specifically built for children who are not yet mobile. There are also plans to offer an outdoor facility throughout the warmer months of the year.
Pictured above and below, Getting reading to repurpose the Renault building, Clare Milton, marketing manager, and Kidz About manager Alistair Burnett. Right, the Renault building shortly before it closed in 2001
Kidz About started at Blagrove in 2005 and has built a good reputation for high standards by offering a clean, friendly, safe and fun facility where adults can interact with their children on the play equipment.
Pictured right, 7 August 1984, Roger Moore and Patrick McNee on the set of View to a Kill when the Renault building became part of the James Bond story. Photo: Richard Wintle of Calyx
The new location will provide an even more entertaining space for children, parents and carers, and will include refreshment areas and four rooms that can be hired for parties and private functions.
Vehicle access will be off Mead Way with a large overflow car park off Rivermead Drive