AHMM behind makeover for South Bank landmark which has been given grade II protection

The IBM building on London’s South Bank has been listed, throwing a spanner in the works of AHMM’s redevelopment plans.

Historic England granted the National Theatre’s neighbour grade II protection and turned down a request for a certificate of immunity from listing.

The Twentieth Century Society which had been lobbying for listing and which raised concerns over AHMM’s “heavy-handed” proposals, welcomed the news.

Senior caseworker Grace Etherington said: “We are thrilled and relieved at this decision. Our concerns about the scheme had largely been ignored, so we’re glad that there is now further weight behind our argument that the building’s massing and areas of detailing at street level should not be compromised. The time is right for AHMM to go back to the drawing board.”

AHMM’s proposals for Wolfe Commercial Properties Southbank – owned by the United Arab Emirates-based Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group – were lodged with Lambeth council in February. They would have added more than 20,000sq m of new business space to the building and were intended to bring the 1980s brutalist building’s terraces to life.

Stanhope is developing the scheme on behalf of the Dubai owner and had been expected to begin talking to contractors about the £200m construction contract towards the end of this year.

Work on the building, which sits between ITV’s London home and the National Theatre, will go out to tender once IBM has moved its staff out. It is not clear whether the firm will move back or look for new, permanent space elsewhere in the capital.

Others working on the job include consultant Exigere, Heyne Tillett Steel as structural engineer and Watkins Payne as M&E engineer. CBRE is planning consultant while Butler and Young is approved inspector.

The IBM building, which is the firm’s European headquarters, was once owned by Alan Sugar, whose real estate arm Amsprop sold it to Saudi investors seven years ago in a deal understood to be worth around £120m.