Status: Listed Grade II
Architect: Stuart Mosscrop and Christopher Woodward
Location: Midsummer Boulevard, Milton Keynes
Stuart Mosscrop, Chief architect of Central MK, with Christopher Woodward as the principal designer, were strongly influenced by Mies van der Rohe in the design of this sleek, seamless building which stretched for 650m along a ridge. Completed in 1979, the glass and steel envelope held 130 shops and six department stores. A number of important works of art are arranged down two, wide internal avenues. The interior is remarkable, showing the architects’ desire to create not simply a shopping centre, but a naturally-lit civic realm with open courtyards, finished in travertine marble and with ambitious tropical and temperate planting.
Retailers repeatedly applied to make unsympathetic alterations which would have been damaging to the unity and integrity of the design.
The C20 Society first applied for listing in 2002, but that application was withdrawn when the owners reached a management agreement with Historic England. C20 again applied in 2009, arguing that the agreement was failing to protect important original features.
Grade II listing was eventually granted in 2010. This has not, however, stopped further detrimental development proposals which in 2013 included a large extension, demolition of the Secklow Gate bridge and relocation of the market. C20 lodged strong objections and the plans were dropped.
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