The BDP-designed Halifax Building, head office of the Halifax Building Society, has been awarded Grade II listing by Architecture Minister Ed Vaizey
In its report recommending listing approval, English Heritage praised the Halifax Building’s ‘highly intelligent design’ and stated that it was ‘a visually striking building’ with a ‘distinctiveness confidently reflecting the Society’s economic supremacy in the town’.
BDP was commissioned to design a new head office for the Halifax Building Society in 1968 and the building was opened by the Queen in 1974. The bulk of the office space is lifted on four pillars above ground level, with a document storage system underground.
BDP returned to the office building - the practice’s first to be listed - in 1996 and in 2002 to carry out refurbishment works.
David Cash, chairman of BDP, said: ‘We’re delighted that the Halifax Building Society HQ has been listed. It is one of a number of ground breaking designs across the North of England by BDP during the ‘60s and ‘70s which also include Preston Bus Station, and which saw BDP competing at the highest level.’
He added: ‘This is a unique building… Elevated above the mill town context and cloaked in a Miesian skin, the building makes no compromises and has now become an important feature within the urban scene. We have been pleased to return on at least two occasions since it was first completed to carry out internal upgrades.’
The listing for BDP’s Halifax gem will give hope to the campaigners trying to stop the destruction of the practice’s much-loved, Brutalist bus station across the Pennines in Preston. In January the Twentieth Century Society made a fresh bid to list the 1969 structure which is again threatened with demolition.
The bus station has twice been turned down for heritage protection by the government, despite EH’s recommendations to list.
Ed Vaizey lists BDP's Halifax 1974 HQ