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Heritage campaigners object to AHMM’s Broadgate scheme

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Heritage campaigners have objected to Allford Hall Monaghan Morris’s ’unsympathetic’ proposals to replace 1-2 Broadgate in the iconic 1980s office complex

Developer British Land submitted plans last month to demolish the Arup Associates-designed building for a new multi-coloured 74,000m² mixed-use shopping and office block. 

But The Twentieth Century Society has objected to the scheme, arguing that the proposals for the block, hailed as the last unaltered part of the City of London campus, are unsympathetic to the character of the remaining buildings.

In a letter to the City of London, Grace Etherington wrote: ’Broadgate has been widely celebrated for the quality of its design and has served as inspiration for many similar projects nationwide and further afield.

’We object to the demolition of 1-2 Broadgate and to the harm proposed by the new building to the character of the wider Broadgate development, and to the setting of 1 Finsbury Avenue.’

In September, the culture minister decided to grant landowner British Land’s application for a Certificate of Immunity (COI) for the existing building, paving the way for its demolition as part of the developer’s wider £1.5 billion site regeneration plans.

British Land and joint venture partner Government of Singapore Investment Corporation applied for the latest COI after its previous certificate, obtained in 2013, ran out earlier this year.

Although Historic England had attempted to get the entire estate Grade II*-listed in 2011, it did not put up a fight for 1-2 Broadgate this time, saying the building’s quality had been diminished by a series of demolitions and alterations of important parts of the original scheme.

The AHMM scheme has been designed as a series of variously coloured stacked boxes and features terraces on every floor above level five, providing more than 4,000m² of exterior space.

A British Land spokesperson said the development would transform Broadgate into a ’world-class, mixed-use, seven-day central London destination’.

’Our plans for 1-2 Broadgate provide the opportunity to deliver an exemplar mixed-use building, which will appeal to a range of businesses, further diversifying the mix of tenants at Broadgate, together with high-quality retail and leisure uses.

’The form and massing of the building steps down to allow sunlight into Broadgate Circle, with a series of terraces and balconies that will provide 45,000sqft of outdoor amenity space, as well as opportunities for urban greening and landscaping.’

Subject to approval, work on AHMM’s 1-2 Broadgate plans could be completed by 2024.

Aerial of broadgate

Aerial of broadgate

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Readers' comments (1)

  • When UBS was approved they let the cat out of the bag. You cant put the genie back in the bottle. AHMM do a fair job of avoiding clichés but is it beautiful Sir Roger?

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