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Amanda Birch talks to the architects who demolished and rebuilt a grade I-listed Nash crescent – for a second time
Trying to demolish and rebuild any grade I-listed building is a tall order. The challenge is even greater when dealing with an iconic crescent by one of Britain’s most renowned architects.
The elegant curved and colonnaded Park Crescent, south of London’s Regent’s Park, built during the early 1820s, was designed by John Nash, the leading Regency and Georgian architect of the time. Park Crescent was a key part of Nash’s masterplan for central London and was conceived as a full circus along with Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus. But this vision was curtailed due to financial constraints, and instead a park completed the crescent’s remaining semi-circle.
During the Second World War, Park Crescent sustained heavy bomb damage. Instead of redeveloping the site in the 1960s with a new structure, the original building was replaced by a replica frontage on a modern open-plan office development. Despite the damaged condition of the crescent, the building was listed in 1954 and retained its listed status after the 1960s rebuild due to its architectural significance.
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