Campaigners have demanded heritage protection for an education building in Hammersmith threatened with demolition
The West London College Action group has lodged a formal application with Historic England to list the Gliddon Road structure near Barons Court Tube station. The building was designed by Bob Giles for the Greater London Council in the 1960s and completed in 1980 (see AJ 10.12.80).
Building owner Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College appointed Atkins last summer to design a replacement college on the site as part of a £500 million mixed-use redevelopment.
Preliminary planning documents were submitted to Hammersmith and Fulham Council earlier this year proposing demolition of all existing buildings and construction of a seven-storey college alongside seven apartment blocks.
The action group said: ‘We want to see this impressive example of Modernist architecture preserved and properly maintained as a going concern.
‘It remains an uncompromisingly modern building – some would even say Brutalist in style. But the central massing of the buildings and their stepped design, receding gradually from both the Talgarth Road and Gliddon Road boundaries in a series of gently graded levels and curves, was carefully designed to minimise any appearance of bulk or overwhelm to the surrounding neighbourhood.’
Twentieth Century Society head of casework Clare Price said the heritage body ’strongly supports’ the listing application.
‘We consider Hammersmith and West London College to be one of the few remaining high-quality Greater London Council buildings of its era, in an excellent setting of varied levels, plazas and delightful landscaping,’ she said.
Giles himself has written to Historic England supporting the listing of his building.
‘While the architecture may be worthy of listing in itself, the building also remains an increasingly rare example of the work of the Greater London Council architects department in the field of education,’ he said in a submission. ’Many of the department’s buildings of the late 60s and 70s have been lost.’
Historic England said it hoped to consult on the listing application this month. This process usually gives interested parties three weeks to comment on the proposal before Historic England makes a recommendation to the culture secretary, who generally makes a final decision within a further two weeks.
Atkins’ proposed scheme would see the creation of an ‘education quarter’ featuring a replacement college alongside an institute of technology and a free school.
Atkins has been contacted for comment, as has Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College.
Bob Giles’ building on Gliddon Road for West London College
Source: Image by Chmee2