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English Heritage recommends Broadgate for Grade II* listing


After weeks of speculation English Heritage (EH) has finally confirmed it is recommending the 1980s Broadgate Square campus in the City of London for Grade II* listing

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt will now have to decide whether to give statutory protection to Arup Associates’ office scheme, part of which is threatened by Make’s already approved 5 Broadgate scheme for developer British Land (see story below). Should Hunt agree with EH and list the buildings it could torpedo Make’s contentious 65,000m² proposals.

According to EH (see attached letter and appendix with comments/responses), Broadgate Square represents ’an exemplar of commercial place making’ and is both ‘a triumph of urbanism [and] a special place in the financial heart of the capital.’

Because the building is less than 30 years old EH could only recommend Grade II* listing. Under DCMS guidance (Principles of Selection for Listing Buildings, March 2010) buildings of less than 30 years old are normally listed only if they are of outstanding quality and under threat.

The controversial decision has already provoked a strong response from British Land which wants to build a huge new groundscraper at 5 Broadgate for Swiss Bank UBS.

A spokesman said: ‘Our experts concluded that on architectural, aesthetic and historic grounds the buildings, sculptures and spaces currently being considered for listing in Broadgate do not meet the criteria for listing as they are not of ‘outstanding quality’ and do not possess sufficient ‘special interest’ - architectural, historic or group value - to warrant their listing.

‘The Broadgate Arena and Octagon have been extensively altered in the last few years. The Arena, ice rink, sculptures and open spaces that are most associated with Broadgate will be retained and are not under threat.  Indeed the proposals seek to further enhance the public spaces with improved permeability and enhanced new landscaping.The design was approved unanimously by the City of London in April and was supported by CABE.  English Heritage did not object to the scheme.’ 

He added: ‘A decision to list would block the £850 million investment in Broadgate, raise the question of where to locate 7,000 permanent banking jobs and put at risk more than 5,000 construction jobs, which would be created over the next 3-5 years, along with the associated economic activity and growth it would generate. It would send out a message to the world that London is not ‘open for business’, undermining the City of London’s status as a global business centre.’

Previous story (AJ 20.05.11)

Broadgate listing decision to be taken out of architecture minister’s hands

The decision on whether to list Arup Associates’ Broadgate campus in the City of London’s will not be made by architecture minister John Penrose due to a conflict of interest

The responsibility will now fall on culture secretary Jeremy Hunt who will have to decide whether to give statutory protection to the 1980s office scheme, part of which is threatened by Make’s already approved 5 Broadgate scheme for developer British Land (see story below).

Penrose (pictured below) has been barred from any involvement in the process due to his wife’s role as a non-executive director of British Land. 

However the AJ understand Hunt’s decision will not be made until ‘next month at the earliest’ because English Heritage (EH) is still preparing the advice on the central London landmark. EH has now said it intends to fire across its report to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in early June.

Make’s controversial scheme, which was given the green light by the City of London’s planning committee, would see the both 4 and 6 Broadgate flattened and replaced with a 65,000m² building for Swiss bank UBS.

Because the buildings, designed by Peter Foggo while at Arup Associates, are less than 30 years old EH will have to recommend listing them at either Grade I or Grade II*.

Previous story (AJ 19.04.11)

Make’s 5 Broadgate scheme lands planning

The City of London’s planning committee has unanimously backed Make’s Broadgate redevelopment scheme

The decision paves the way for the demolition of 4 and 6 Broadgate, designed by Peter Foggo who at the time worked for Arup Associates.

Chris Grigg, chief executive of developer British Land said: ‘It is fantastic that the City, in its decision today, has acknowledged the importance of the current and future needs of key occupiers for attractive, flexible and sustainable floorspace, the retention of UBS in Broadgate and the maintenance of London’s status as a world class financial centre.’

City of London head of planning Peter Rees told committee members that Foggo himself objected to the buildings because of their partial stone facades and would not have objected to their loss.

At 65,000m², the new 5 Broadgate building will double the amount of floor space previously provided, housing up to 750 staff on each floor and 6,000 workers in total.

The City of London’s policy chairman Stuart Fraser said: Whilst always mindful of the need to protect our heritage, the City of London also works closely with current occupiers and potential future occupiers to ensure the office space available in the Square Mile meets their business requirements - this is vital to our continued competitiveness.

By approving the scheme at 5 Broadgate, the City of London has provided a fitting home for one of Europe’s largest banks and has demonstrated its commitment to providing a business environment that can continue to attract the world’s leading firms for many years to come.’

Rees added: The plans approved today for 5 Broadgate demonstrate the adaptability of the original development concept and the vision of its architect, Peter Foggo. Broadgate is defined by the quality of its open spaces which have been critical to its lasting appeal amongst the City community.

‘The City of London works hard to ensure that new developments represent the best of contemporary architecture while respecting our cherished network of alleys and open spaces - the gossip channels of the Square Mile - 5 Broadgate succeeds on both counts.’


Previous story (13.04.11)

Make’s contentious Broadgate scheme set for approval

The City of London’s planners have recommended the approval of Make’s Broadgate project despite reports English Heritage is looking to put forward the entire 1980s office campus for listing

Make’s controversial £460 million aluminium-clad headquarters for Swiss bank UBS is set to go before the City of London planning committee on Tuesday morning (19 April) next week.

The scheme will replace existing Arup Associates-designed buildings from the 1980s which are part of a campus ensemble currently being considered for a listing recommendation by English Heritage (EH).

If approved on Tuesday, the consent could be subject to further review depending on whether EH’s report calls for a listing decision. The organisation is expected to respond in the second week of May.

An English Heritage spokesperson said: ‘If the City wish to hear any aspect of the planning application next week [they] will do so in the full knowledge of the ongoing process relating to the assessment of the sites’ designation interest.’

Plans to demolish 3 Broadgate have been dropped

Plans to demolish 3 Broadgate have been dropped

Last ditch negotiations with City of London planners have seen project developer British Land scrap plans to demolish the cylindrical 3 Broadgate building (pictured), used as a sales suite when the development first launched in the 1980s.

Retention of the building could be presented to the committee as a compromise victory in the name of conservation.

A report which has been issued to committee members described the project as a ‘striking and eye catching addition to the new architecture of the City’.

It explained: ‘The site is of an appropriate size and its surrounds of an appropriate scale to construct a building of suitable dimensions to meet [UBS’s] requirements. 

‘In relation to “alternative designs” earlier options considered a tower which was rejected because of its impact on [London View Management Framework] views and its relationship to the public realm.’

Committee members will be asked to consider objections from the public which include concern over the size of the development and appeals for the old buildings to be reused.

The 14-storey structure will be named 5 Broadgate and will replace buildings 4 and 6 on the campus.

At 65,000m², the new building will double the amount of floor space previously provided, housing up to 750 staff on each floor and 6,000 workers in total.

Last month CABE issued the proposal with a positive design review (see below) describing the project as ‘exciting’.


Previous story (15.03.11)

CABE welcomes MAKE’s Broadgate redevelopment

CABE has issued a positive design review for MAKE’s controversial Broadgate redevelopment in the City of London

Unveiled late last year, Make’s £460 million aluminium-clad headquarters for Swiss bank UBS will replace existing Arup Associates-designed buildings from the 1980s.

Describing the project as ‘exciting’, CABE’s design review panel praised the project’s public realm and said the ‘main public benefit of the scheme will be the quality of the building itself’.

Concerns were raised about the ‘difficulty’ of integrating the buildings ‘uninterrupted floor plate’ with the ‘surrounding city grain’.

However the main focus of the design review, the commission maintained, was to ensure the scheme’s ‘detail and clarity’ were carried through into the final built product.

The report said: ‘We think the generating idea of a cast block has strength but its success will depend on the resolution of the detailed design through careful conditioning of any planning approval.

‘This should ensure that materials are articulated so as to achieve the necessary richness in detail and clarity in expression of this ambitious concept in the scheme as built.’

The project is expected to go before planning committee next month.

MAKE declined to comment. Read the full design review here.


Previous story (10.12.10)

MAKE unveils 5 Broadgate scheme

[FIRST LOOK + PLANS] MAKE Architects has revealed images of its proposed £460 million aluminium-clad headquarters for Swiss bank UBS in the City of London

Submitted for planning today (10 December) the 65,000m² structure will feature the largest floor plates in The City, housing up to 750 staff on each floor and 6,000 workers in total.

MAKE Architects founder Ken Shuttleworth said: ‘The concept has been very much trying to make it into a single thing, like a machined casting, reflecting UBS solidity.’

Designed for current site owners British Land and Blackstone, the architects chose a groundscraper design over a tower due to the height restrictions on the site.

The 14-storey building’s ‘football pitch-sized’ floor plates are divided into four trading floors, a support level, two client-facing levels and four floors of offices. Cores are placed on the perimeter to maximise spaces.

Featuring just 45 per cent glass cladding, Shuttleworth describes the building as the ‘next generation’ of office buildings. He said: ‘You’re looking at the future of what the next ten years of office development will look like.’

Support columns are arranged in a 12 metre by 13.5 metre grid while ceiling heights are 3.5 metres throughout.

MAKE plans to win planning by June next year and complete the shell and core of the building in mid 2014, finishing the fit out later in 2015.

Construction of the scheme would include demolition of numbers three, four and six Broadgate. The buildings were designed by Arup Associates in the 1980s.

Robert Samuel, director at British Land, explained: ‘Everything we have done here is to give it a longer life than the buildings that were already here.’

Project data

Client: British Land and Blackstone
Structural engineer: Buro Happold
M&E consultant: Watkins Payne Engineers
Cost Consultants: Sense
Planners: DP9



Related files

Readers' comments (13)

  • Why does it has to be this ugly?

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  • Was this designed by the guy who was considered (according to a newspaper some time ago) the most influencial architect in the UK?
    This is a bad joke no?

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  • Money MAKE-ing machine, Ka-Ching!

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  • If this is the future of office buildings please advise all that have the misfortune to work in it or look at it, to sign up for therapy now, there is going to be a very long queue. Clearly MAKE believe that the Carbuncle Cup is the only worthwhile architectural award and having been robbed in 2009, they are clearly making an early pitch for 2014. Does the Client really like this? The planning authority must refuse it. It lacks all the finesse of a punch in the face. What about the loss of public realm? Redevelopment should strive to improve on what is there, this is a monumental step backwards. Everything about this is what gives architects a bad name! I feel like chucking it all in, what’s the point, truly depressing, how do these idiots get the commissions, there are actually some good architects out there that never get the chance!!!!!! Open competition anybody?

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  • it looks grim...

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  • If this supposed to be the future- God help us!!!
    Truly hideous!
    They expect to get planning? On what grounds?
    Think again Mr. Shuttleworth!

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  • At last something distinctive and modern with a sense of permanence. Attractive from all angles.

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  • Francisco Checa Romero

    Simply terrible!
    A perfect example of how to waste £460 million injecting it in a horrendous piece of 'architecture'

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  • Abysmal. PFI Hospital comes to Broadgate. Was this really done by Ken the Pen? The Arup buildings should be listed or replaced with something of equivalent quality.

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  • This are truely some of the most depressing images I have seen on the AJ.

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