Bid to protect post-modern landmark comes after developer unveils Gensler-led transformation plans

Campaign group the Twentieth Century Society has launched a bid to secure listed status for a Terry Farrell & Company-designed post-modern office development in the City of London.

The bid follows Arax Properties’ airing of Gensler-designed proposals to “transform” Alban Gate with brighter colours, new balconies and improved access

The structure, which was completed in 1992, is at 125 London Wall – south of the Barbican Estate. Part of the development is built on the site of 1960s office building Lee House; its most prominent section is built directly above the intersection of London Wall and Wood Street.

A smaller-scale “Lutyensesque” west wing provides office, retail and residential accommodation and overlooks Monkwell Square, which Farrells re-landscaped in a traditional manner.

Launching a public consultation on its Gensler-led proposals for Alban Gate in the autumn, Arax Properties said the current Farrell building had “a number of shortcomings that need to be addressed to make it a welcoming space for occupiers and visitors”.


Source: Arax Properties

How Alban Gate could look under Arax Properties’ proposals

It said the quality of public space at ground-floor and podium level was “lacking”, and called for a redesign with new stairs and an additional lift.

Other measures included the creation of green balconies and a “New London Fabulous” makeover to introduce brighter colours and accentuate more of the building’s post-modern features.

The C20 Society said its listing bid for grade II status, lodged with government heritage adviser Historic England, was aimed at safeguarding the structure “against any unsympathetic alterations” and ensuring a “suitably conservation-led refurbishment”.


Source: Arax Properties

“The Society views Alban Gate as a key late 20th-century commercial development in the City of London, synonymous with the ‘Big Bang’ era and a highly significant work by one of the UK’s leading post-war architects,” it said.

The society said Alban Gate – which was designed for MEPC Developments – was one of Farrell’s “three grand projects”, alongside Embankment Place in Charing Cross and the SIS Building in Vauxhall.

It added that Alban Gate may have been overlooked for listing when Hstoric England undertook a thematic review of post-modern built heritage six years ago as the development was under 30 years old at the time. 

A selection of Farrell buildings currently has listed status, including the grade I Cosmic House, co-designed with Charles Jenks. The Comyn Ching Triangle in central London’s Covent Garden area and Henley Royal Regatta Headquarters in Henley-on-Thames are both listed at grade II.


Source: Arax Properties