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Marco Polo House faces demolition threat

Scott Brownrigg is planning to demolish Ian Pollard’s landmark, post-modern 1980s Marco Polo House and replace it with luxury flats

The practice intends to submit proposals in July for two mixed-use residential buildings up to 12-storeys high, on the south London plot overlooking Battersea Park.

If successful, the scheme would sound the death-knell for the acclaimed 1987 office and television centre building designed by the flamboyant Pollard, a surveyor and well-known naturalist.

Pollard criticised the latest plans as a move towards a ‘lower grade of architecture’. He said: ‘Marco was a fun building. It was quite an iconic at the time and some people still say it is.’

Explaining the original designs for the grey-coloured block, Pollard said his idea was to create something that would ‘stand out’ on the difficult site close to Battersea Power Station, large gasholders and railway lines.

When it first opened, the Observer occupied the southern end of the 14,600m² building and British Satellite Broadcasting (later BSkyB) to the north.

The building now houses home-shopping channel QVC, whose lease on the offices expires in 2012, when development is expected to commence.

No one at Scott Brownrigg was available to comment.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Not a minute too soon. Lower grade of architecture? Who are they kidding?

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  • When I was a student we were taught not to design like this.

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