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FCBS to revamp Grade II-listed ‘Hanging Gardens of Basingstoke’

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Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios has been picked to overhaul Arup Associates’ 1976 Mountbatten House, a Grade II-listed office building known as ‘the Hanging Gardens of Basingstoke’

Developer Squarestone Growth, which reportedly bought the site for £2 million earlier this year, has asked the practice to carry out an ’extensive restoration’ which will see the building re-offered to the market as Category A office space.

Designed by Arup Associates’ Peter Foggo, the five-storey block on the south-facing plot in Basing View was listed alongside 13 other post-war office buildings in 2015.

At the same time the building’s famous terraced roof gardens were also added to the Register of Parks and Gardens at Grade II.

Originally known as Gateway House, the building in Basingstoke’s central business district was purpose-designed as the new UK headquarters for the paper manufacturer and merchants, Wiggins Teape, who moved there from London in the late 1970s.

According to Arup, the building was ’ahead of its time for modern workplace design’ with its ’rigorously planned and technically innovative’ structure and landscaped garden terraces earning it an RIBA award in 1979.

Helen Roberts, partner at FCBS, said it was a ‘privilege’ to have landed the revamp of the listed building ’where the original intent [was] still so powerfully conveyed’.

She added: ’The rigorous form, structure and symmetry of the building are perfectly complemented by the generosity of the rooftop landscapes. Drawing on our current work in contemporary workplaces and the refurbishment of other buildings of this period, such as London’s Southbank Centre, the commission is a great challenge to restore the building and its gardens to their former glory.’

Hugo Denée, managing director at Squarestone Growth said: ’The comprehensive refurbishment of this Grade II-listed building offers an opportunity to deliver a truly unique Grade A office into a market that is desperately undersupplied.’

A schedule for the works is not yet known.

Fcbstudios mountbatten house c richardbattye

Fcbstudios mountbatten house c richardbattye

The post-war offices listed in 2015 (all at Grade II)

  • Mountbatten House (formerly Gateway House), Basingstoke, Arup Associates’ Group 2 led by Peter Foggo, 1974-76. The roof gardens at Mountbatten House also added to the Register of Parks and Gardens at Grade II
  • Brown Shipley, Moorgate, City of London, Fitzroy Robinson & Partners, 1973-5
  • 30 Cannon Street (formerly Credit Lyonnais), London, Whinney, Son & Austen Hall, 1974-7
  • 1 Finsbury Avenue, City of London, Arup Associates’ Group 2 led by Peter Foggo, 1982-4
  • Civil Aviation Authority House, (formerly Space House), Kingsway, Camden London, George Marsh of Richard Seifert & Partners, 1964-8
  • IBM Pilot Head Office, Cosham, Foster Associates, 1970-71
  • Gun Wharf (built as administrative headquarters for Lloyds of London, now civic headquarters for Medway Council), Chatham, Kent, Arup Associates, 1976-8
  • Former office of Ryder and Yates, Killingworth, Newcastle, Ryder and Yates, 1964-5
  • MEA House, Newcastle upon Tyne, Ryder and Yates, 1972-4
  • Bank House, King Street, Leeds, Building Design Partnership, 1969-71
  • Former Midland Bank, Dale Street, Liverpool, Raymond Fletcher of Bradshaw, Rowse & Harker, 1971
  • St James’s House, Frederick Street, Birmingham, John Madin, 1954-7
  • Alpha Tower, Birmingham, George Marsh of Richard Seifert & Partners, 1970-2
  • Former Central Electricity Generating Board Building (The Pavilions), Bristol, Arup Associates, 1975-8 
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Readers' comments (1)

  • Hugo Denee's comment that the market for this quality of office is 'desperately undersupplied' sounds like encouragement for good architects and enlightened developers at a time when doom and gloom seem to be the order of the day.

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