Developer British Land has secured immunity-from-listing certificates for two 1980s buildings by Peter Foggo in London’s Broadgate office campus, paving the way for a potential new tower scheme.
Earlier this year the Department for Culture, Media and Sport granted Grade II-listed status to Foggo’s 1 Finsbury Avenue building.
Plans for that site include a “faithful restoration of the building’s existing facade” as part of a revamp being overseen by Arup Associates.
However, the new five-year immunity-from-listing certificates for the office’s sister blocks at 2 and 3 Finsbury Avenue could signal the end for both buildings.
Industry sources told Construction News’ sister title Architects’ Journal that the footprint of No 3, which is next to Make Architects’ new 5 Broadgate building, had no sight-line issues related to protected views, making it suitable for hosting a skyscraper.
Reacting to the news, Twentieth Century Society chief executive Catherine Croft said the loss of 2 and 3 Finsbury Avenue would change Broadgate irrevocably.
“It’s the last straw as far as Broadgate is concerned,” she said. “Part of the interest in Broadgate was that it had been a whole new piece of the city.
‘”The only reason for knocking down 2 and 3 would be if planning permission for something bigger could be achieved, and that could fundamentally alter the feel, character and scale of the whole area.”
Ms Croft said Mr Foggo, who died in 1993, had been Arup Associates’ ‘elite designer’ from the period he worked for the firm. The society had described 2 Finsbury Avenue as worthy of Grade II listing, but reserved comment on No 3.
A Department for Culture, Media and Sport spokeswoman confirmed the owners of 2 and 3 Finsbury Avenue had been notified of the immunity-certificate decision, which had been based on advice from Historic England.
She added: “They do not meet the statutory listing requirements for special architectural or historic interest.”
A spokesperson for British Land said: “Broadgate is an important and evolving area for the City of London with public spaces at its heart, and any proposals we make would naturally reflect the importance of the public realm.
“Our plans for 1 Finsbury Avenue demonstrate that we treat buildings that are agreed to have historical and architectural significance with respect.”