More than a dozen buildings added to register after 18-month project

A raft of post-war office buildings in cities across the country have been listed by the secretary of state today after a major project by English Heritage.

They include four by Arup Associates – including the earliest Broadgate building – two by Richard Seifert – including Cabe’s former home – and two by Ryder & Yates.

Norman Foster, John Madin and BDP have also been recognised. The 14 buildings were all listed at grade II.

Today’s announcement follows 18 months of research by English Heritage which set out to assess commercial buildings dating from 1964 to 1984, the current cut-off for listing.

They began with hundreds and whittled it down to a long list of 60. Among those that did not make the cut were Tower 42, Croydon’s Threepenny Bit and Holborn Gate, all by Seifert, and Piano & Rogers’ PA Technology and Science Centre near Cambridge.

English Heritage’s director of designation, Roger Bowdler, said the 14 added to the list were all “remarkable designs, capable of years of commercially vibrant use”.

They all demonstrate how architects responded to the radical changes in the way people work, including the arrival of computers, he added.

“We are doing our duty to the future by identifying the very best examples of modern architecture. We are very picky,” he said.

“The jury’s still out but we have to reach a verdict before the jury has returned. We’re at the forefront.

“We are trying to give owners clarity about which buildings possess high levels of architectural or historic interest.”

Since a change in the law in 2013, listing can specify the aspects of a building that warrant protection.

Tim Roberts, head of offices at British Land, which owns 1 Finsbury Avenue, welcomed the flexibility this gave them to adapt the now-listed building to changing needs.

Architecture minister Ed Vaizey, whose department approved all the buildings recommended by English Heritage, said: “This group of listings reflect the changing face of our working environment and represent the very best in design. It’s entirely right that they be listed grade II.”

English Heritage’s next assessment projects will include post-modernism and public sculpture.


The 14 buildings that made the grade

All listed at grade II


With comments taken from a tour led by English Heritage’s Roger Bowdler and Geraint Franklin.

:: Brown Shipley, Moorgate, City of London, Fitzroy Robinson & Partners, 1973-5

“A very contextual building and a timeless design that hasn’t dated. Well proportioned and quality materials.”

:: 30 Cannon Street (formerly Credit Lyonnais), London, Whinney, Son & Austen Hall, 1974-7

“A splendid, playful 1970s building; the first to use glass-reinforced cement, and to do so in quite an exciting way. Encapsulates one of the more daring epochs of building in the City.”

:: 1 Finsbury Avenue, City of London, Arup Associates’ Group 2 led by Peter Foggo, 1982-4

“The first building at Broadgate, whose group listing the secretary of state rejected before work began on Make’s enormous enlargement for UBS. This is the real paradigm-change building, perfectly tuned to the way offices would be used after the Big Bang, with architects just designing the shell and core. And what an exterior it is, with its cross-bracing and dark bronze anodised cladding.”

:: Civil Aviation Authority House, (formerly Space House), Kingsway, Camden London, George Marsh of Richard Seifert & Partners, 1964-8

“This icon of the 1960s commercial property boom was designed by George Marsh of Richard Seifert & Partners. Like the practice’s other listed building, Centre Point, its unusual shape is defined externally by a precast concreted exo-skeleton.”


:: 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


:: Mountbatten House (formerly Gateway House), Basingstoke, Arup Associates’ Group 2 led by Peter Foggo, 1974-76.

:: 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


:: Bank House, King Street, Leeds, Building Design Partnership (BDP), 1969-71


:: Former Midland Bank, Dale Street, Liverpool, Raymond Fletcher of Bradshaw, Rowse & Harker, 1971


:: Former office of Ryder and Yates, Killingworth, Newcastle, Ryder & Yates, 1964-5

:: MEA House, Newcastle upon Tyne, Ryder & Yates, 1972-4

Buildings that were fully assessed but failed to make the grade


With comments taken from a tour led by English Heritage’s Roger Bowdler and Geraint Franklin.

:: Tower 42 (Natwest Tower), London, Richard Seifert & Partners, 1973-81

“Europe’s tallest building when it opened and quite interesting structurally but the drama of the cantilevered floors is partly concealed by the glass entrance added in the 1990s. Aside from the alterations, we just weren’t convinced. Its termination is not good.”

:: Bush Lane House, 80 Cannon Street, London, Arup Associates, 1972-76

“A real engineer’s building. Designed so that the since-abandoned Jubilee line extension could be built underneath without affecting it. The only building in the country to have an exo-skeleton filled with water for cooling as fire resistance. This made it an agonising decision but ultimately we decided not to list it because it clearly wasn’t influential.”

:: 150 Leadenhall Street & 6-8 Bishopsgate, London, GMW Partnership, 1974-78 & 1977-81

“Two refined and well-behaved Miesian buildings. Very good but not very early examples.”


:: Neville House, Birmingham, John Madin, 1975-76

:: Natwest, Colmore Road, Birmingham, John Madin, 1969


:: PA Technology and Science Centre, Melbourn, Cambridgeshire, Piano & Rogers, 1974-75, 1982-84


:: Gateway Two, Belvedere House, Basingstoke, Arup Associates, 1981-82


:: Newspaper House, Oxford, Arup Associates, 1969-71