The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Photo courtesy RCAHMS, from the Sir Basil Spence archive, photographer Richard Einzig

Hyde Park Barracks Petition: Say Neigh to Demolition!

The Twentieth Century Society has launched a petition calling on Culture Minister Ed Vaizey to list Hyde Park Cavalry Barracks in London.

As we reported earlier this month, this landmark 1970 development by Sir Basil Spence is at risk of being sold to developers. The Government stands to make up to £650 million from the sale of this prestigious site, paving the way for yet more luxury flats in one of central London’s most desirable locations.

This important and innovative group of buildings has provided accommodation for 500 personnel and 270 horses of the Household Cavalry. The history of the site as an army barracks dates back to the late 18th century.

What is at stake here is more than just an innovative piece of work by one of Britain’s most prolific 20th century architects. At the heart of the complex sits Spence’s elegant 33-storey residential tower – a familiar sight for tourists and Londoners. If, as some have proposed, it gives way to a clutch of heavily massed blocks, the views and relationship with Hyde Park will be severely compromised.

A successful listing does not mean that Hyde Park Barracks will remain at any cost – it does mean that a debate can take place that takes into account heritage and social arguments as well as financial considerations.

We believe planning should remain a democratic process. Please support us by adding your signature to our petition.