The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Photo © Sarah J Duncan
Photo © Sarah J Duncan

No 1 Poultry listed Grade II* after C20 challenge

The C20 Society are delighted that No 1 Poultry, designed by James Stirling Michael Wilford and Associates, has been listed at Grade II*. This follows the C20 Society’s successful legal challenge of the Secretary of State’s earlier refusal to list this outstanding Postmodern building on the grounds that it was not “at risk”.

Our original application for listing was prompted by proposals to extend and alter the principal façades of the building, described by Historic England as “a highly significant and accomplished building by an architect of international repute, arguably the quintessential post-modern commercial building and public space.”

Historic England recommended that it should be listed, and felt that it had sufficient merit and that “the proposed changes, if effected, would alter the character and structure of the original building” but the Minister did not concur about the impact of the changes. We are glad that in this case the Secretary of State agreed to review his original decision and list the building.

However, we remain concerned that buildings under 30 years old can generally only be considered for listing if they are both “outstanding” and “at risk” and that threat is often seen to mean demolition when less drastic alterations can be extremely damaging.

There’s clearly no consensus yet about what constitutes Postmodernism, but both No 1 Poultry and Terry Farrell’s Comyn Ching (recently listed Grade II), are definitely of architectural and historic interest, if not as yet widely appreciated. It’s part of our role to explore recent heritage and building public and professional knowledge and understanding. We are excited to build on this progress.

Click to read C20 Society’s original listing application and the legal advice that was the basis for our challenge.