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No 1 Poultry's owners hit back at listing as revamp work stalls

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The owners of No 1 Poultry slammed the decision to list the building earlier this week

James Stirling and Michael Wilford & Partners’ No 1 Poultry was listed at Grade II* on Tuesday (30 November) by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), just a year after a previous bid was rejected.

The department agreed to rethink its original refusal in August, following an appeal from the Twentieth Century Society.

A planning application drawn up by BuckleyGrayYeoman to revamp to Postmodernist building was granted permission in March – but the refurbishment on the works which require listed building consent have now been halted.

The building is owned by Wood Grafton One Sarl, a subsidiary of asset management firm Perella Weinberg. A spokesperson for Wood Grafton One Sarl’s advisor Aermont Capital said: ’We are disappointed by the way in which DCMS reached its decision to list One Poultry without any consultation or engagement with ourselves, the representative of the building’s owner.

’We believe the decision is a disproportionate response to the minimal changes being made to One Poultry. The work we are undertaking is fully consented by the Corporation of London and is designed to enhance the building and secure its future for the long term. We have received no explanation from DCMS as to why their position has been reversed and we are taking advice from our professional team.’

The approved plans by BuckleyGrayYeoman had also been amended, following criticism from leading architects including Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster and Richard Rogers.

No 1 Poultry, which also houses a pub and a rooftop restaurant, was built in 1994 by Peter Palumbo’s City Acre Property Investment Trust.

Historic England was asked to assess No 1 Poultry for listing on the grounds that BuckleyGrayYeoman’s proposed alterations constituted a threat to the building.

Following the review, culture secretary Karen Bradley agreed that the block has special architectural or historic interest.

In its report, Historic England assessed No 1 Poultry as a ‘highly significant late work by one of Britain’s foremost post-war architects, which expresses Stirling’s singular approach to design’.

It added: ‘Intellectually powerful, the building is scholarly in its references, particularly to classical precedent.’

 

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Fault on various sides - the DCMS for failing to wake up to the significance of this building until they were prodded, the Corporation of London for behaving like philistines, the building's owners for failing to understand the qualities of what they owned (maybe badly advised), and their architects for apparently thinking that what they were doing was acceptable.

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