Broadgate set for further overhaul with Arup revamp of iconic arena
English Heritage has said it is ‘comfortable’ with new plans to overhaul the iconic arena at the heart of Arup Associates’ 1980s Broadgate estate in the City of London.
Last year the organisation failed to get the Postmodern office campus Grade-II* listed in a bid to halt Make’s controversial proposals for a £340 million headquarters for investment bank UBS (pictured), which replaces 5 Broadgate.
The AJ understands that owner British Land is now looking to rework Broadgate Circle and its public realm. It is considering increasing the amount of shops around the arena, the centre of which hosts an ice rink at Christmas, as a precursor to further development of the estate.
A spokesperson for English Heritage said: ‘We have informally seen the proposals and we are very comfortable with them. We don’t feel they impact on the special-ness of the public space.’
British Land confirmed it had enlisted original architects Arup Associates to prepare a planning application which would ‘preserve and enhance the public amenity and structure at Broadgate Circle’.
Despite a high-profile campaign by English Heritage and the Twentieth Century Society to secure statutory protection for the ‘most significant and successful commercial development in London of the post-war period’, culture secretary Jeremy Hunt rejected English Heritage’s listing recommendation last summer (AJ 15.06.11).
Catherine Croft of the Twentieth Century Society said she had not been consulted on the latest proposals. Neither had Stuart Lipton, the original developer of Broadgate and a vocal supporter of the listing of the estate.
Croft said: ‘We’d have liked to have been involved as early as possible and we haven’t been. But we are not that surprised [that British Land want to do this].’
She added: ‘It might be possible the shopping could be looked at in a sympathetic way. However, it is not always best to have the original architects come back.
‘Although we lost [the case for listing], we were pleased that people were considering Po-Mo buildings as something that could have value.’
She added: ‘If an application for immunity from listing was put in, we would strongly oppose it.’