The Twentieth Century Society

Listings reports

Winter 2010

Shown below are the listings reports for Winter 2010.

Added

K8 telephone Boxes at: Woodland View, Wroughton, Swindon; Grove Hill, Highworth, Swindon; Knowlands, Highworth, Swindon; Langton Park, Wroughton, Swindon; High Street, Hawkesbury, South Gloucestershire; Southleaze Orchard, Street, Mendip, Somerset

All of the original four boxes that were found by the Society in 2007 have been listed-making Swindon the home of the listed K8. Another two survivors, one in Gloucestershire and the other in Somerset have also now been added to the list. Of the 14 we put forward for listing, 7 have been listed and two have been turned down. This is the culmination of a successful campaign to preserve the best examples of Bruce Martin’s 1960s reworking of Giles Gilbert Scott’s iconic 1936 design-3,000 of which are listed buildings.

Turned Down

K8 telephone Boxes at: Tywardreath, Restormel, Cornwall; Whitechapel Underground station

These were seen as too altered and the refusal to list the Whitchapel one means that their will be no listed K8s in the London area.

Godwins, Blackhall Lane, Sevenoaks, Kent 1930; grade II

Only recently unearthed, by the Society and local residents, as an Oswald Milne building this attractive Arts and Crafts house was threatened with demolition. With its triple gable, catslide roof and pared-down facades, the design cannily reinterprets the language of modernism through the language of tradition. It was turned down for listing, but Sevenoaks council, supported by the Society, warded off the bulldozers until the house could be included within the bounds of the Wildernesse Estate Conservation area.

South Bank centre, Lambeth 1963-7; grade II

Loved and hated in equal measure, this expressive, influential building clearly left Mr Penrose cold. Counter to English Heritage’s robust and repeated support for listing, the Minister turned down this much misunderstood post-war experiment, declaring that the building is poorly resolved. The Society has now asked DCMS to review their decision, arguing chiefly that the Minister was misinformed about the architectural concept of the design and that the cultural significance of the Hayward Gallery had not been presented or considered.

Put Forward

Stephenson industrial estate, Killingworth, North Tyneside; Ryder and Yates, 1964-74; Norgas House, Stephenson house, former Ryder and Yates offices, Henson service centre (former Lions Brush works): locally listed; Northern gas training college, A&L Marine factory, Securos factory, Norgas Computer Building: unlisted

Following reports that Stephenson House is under threat of demolition the Society put it forward for spot-listing. Before the case was fully considered by English Heritage, new reports reached the Society that Norgas House was also under threat. Upon receipt of a very brief Initial Report on Stephenson House by EH, it was decided that all (statutorily) unlisted buildings by Ryder and Yates in Killingworth should be put forward for listing. EH have agreed not to make their final recommendation on Stephenson House until the Society has had the opportunity to submit their more comprehensive submission on all these buildings.

Valley Spring, Southstoke Road, Bath, Avon

Valley Spring is the only post-war modernist house built within the city of Bath. Designed by Peter Womersley for his brother John and built between 1966-68, Valley Spring is currently on the market for £2 million. The plan form of the building, how the spaces relate to one another and the use of levels are all key attributes of the house. As a key work of one of the most celebrated architects working in the domestic sphere in the post-war period, C20 have put forward for listing at Grade II.

Supported

Royal Masonic hospital (now Ravenscourt Park hospital), Hammersmith, London; Sir John Burnet, Tait and Lorne, 1931-33; Grade II* (first listed in 1980; upgraded in 2010)

Totally justified and absolutely unsurprising was the news that the former Royal Masonic Hospital has been upgraded to Grade II*, following a request by the Society, because of the building’s architectural interest, authorship, engineering interest, artworks and intactness.

Appeals

Church of the Ascension, Beaufort road, Hanger Hill, London; Hon. John Seely and Paul Paget, 1939; locally listed; Hanger Hill (Haymills) Estate CA

The Society was surprised to hear that this church by Seely and Paget was turned down for listing. Our Chairman, Alan Powers, wrote to DCMS to ask for a review of the listing decision and EH’s argument that the building’s ‘lack of compositional coherence’, in comparison to other listed churches by the same architects, was questioned. Our Chairman argued that EH’s position was based on an assumption that this convention of coherence was a crucial issue for assessing the quality and listability of the building. By contrast, his own study of the architects’ work has convinced him that they often operated by rather different aesthetic rules to most architects.

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