Ed Vaizey has continued his run of listing twentieth century buildings after granting statutory protection to London’s 1932 Victoria Coach Station
The 12,000 m² building – one of ‘London’s most distinctive Art Deco landmarks’ – has been handed a grade II listing, by the architecture minister.
Vaizey said the building harked back to a bygone era in public transport. He said: ‘Victoria Coach Station, with its soaring art-deco frontage harks back to another – more stylish, perhaps – era in public transport.
‘A London landmark for more than 80 years, these days it welcomes and dispatches around ten million passengers every year to 1,200 destinations in the UK and 400 in mainland Europe. It certainly merits listed building status, and I hope it continues serving Londoners and visitors to the capital for many years to come.’
The building, which was completed in 1932, was designed by Wallis Gilbert and Partners, and is one of the inter-war practice’s most notable surviving projects.
The listing statement from English Heritage, said: ‘Monumental, showy and wholly contemporary, [the building] illustrates how, within little more than a decade, the industry had evolved from its fragmented and often chaotic origins into a sophisticated national network. Of all the purpose-built coach stations, extant or otherwise, there is nothing directly comparable to Victoria in terms of its scale - physical or operational.’
It also acknowledged the coach station’s ‘group value’. It sits opposite the 1939 Art Deco former Imperial Airways Empire building, which had previously received a grade II-listing.
The report added: ‘The two constitute a notable grouping of distinctive inter-war transport buildings which, as The Buildings of England comments, ‘use architectural fashions to trumpet the excitement of new ways of travel.’’
The building’s entrance and interior has been changed over time and it has also lost its decorative faience.
Transport for London, which now owns the building, has been in talks about relocating the coach station for a number of years.
Back in 2012, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios drew up a masterplan which included the site, but since then the plans have been dropped (AJ 24.09.12).