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C20 Society: 'We won't call for Museum of London listing'

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The Twentieth Century Society has told the AJ it will not call for Powell & Moya’s 1976 Museum of Building at the Barbican to be listed

Earlier today (27 March) the museum confirmed it intends to move out of its current home at London Wall and into empty buildings at Smithfield Market.

The relocation would open up the site for redevelopment and potentially pave the way for a new ‘world-class concert’ venue to be built there. It is understood the plot on the southwest corner of the Barbican development is among those being looked at as a new home for the London Symphony Orchestra which will be headed by Simon Rattle from 2017.

The museum, which wants to open its doors in its new location by 2021, has already applied for a certificate for immunity from listing for its current home.

Catherine Croft from the Twentieth Century Society said: ‘If the Museum of London had not been so altered, it would be of undoubted historic and architectural significance. It was built by one of the most important architectural practices in post war Britain and designed over a period when the firm was arguably at its height in terms of reputation and prestige.

‘However it is no longer in its original state and has been extensively altered since the 1990s. It is solely this reason that we are not calling for it to be listed.’

She added: ‘Regardless of listing, we would still prefer to see a solution that re-used the existing building in an imaginative way - rather than demolishing it.’

It is understood John McAslan + Partners has already been asked by the Museum of London to look at how the institution could be re-housed in the larger market buildings.

Original plans by the practice for developer Henderson Global Investors to convert the historic Victorian landmark into an office and retail scheme were thrown out by communities secretary Eric Pickles in July last year (AJ 08.07.14) leaving the future of the market in doubt.

Postscript

The Museum of London has confirmed it has already applied for a a certificate for immunity from listing for its current 1976 Powell & Moya-designed home.

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