Minister rejects Southbank and Waterloo listing
Architecture minister John Penrose today turned down the Southbank Centre and Waterloo Station for listing.
The news will come as a major blow to the Twentieth Century Society and English Heritage, who nominated the buildings for protection.
Penrose acknowledged the strong arguments for listing the Southbank Centre but said he was persuaded that there were aspects that had never functioned as intended and that there had been many changes to the design and look of the buildings.
He said: “The architecture is poorly resolved, the structures are not unique or groundbreaking and the individuals behind Archigram had limited influence on the building’s design.”
The Twentieth Century Society’s case covered the Hayward Gallery, Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall and their shared spaces and walkways.
The minister agreed there was “some interest” in the interiors and that the two concert halls had excellent acoustics as well as historic interest as a post-war purpose-built centre for the arts.
Waterloo Station’s Victory Arch remains listed but neither Grimshaw’s former Eurostar terminal nor the rest of the station merited protection, he said.
He described the station as “much altered” and demonstrating an “uncoordinated mixture of different styles”.
“Evidence also indicates that although the Edwardian baroque style exterior survives, finer examples of that style exist,” he added.
The minister also rejected a listing application for six former army huts on Fremington Camp in Devon.