IBM building project will continue after consultation, says client
The developer behind AHMM’s plans for Denys Lasdun’s IBM building have vowed to carry on with the project despite the decision to list it.
The building, next to the National Theatre on London’s South Bank, was given grade II protection this week after a campaign by the Twentieth Century Society.
The conservation group objected to a series of changes that were proposed by AHMM on behalf of its client Wolfe Commercial Properties Southbank.
Senior caseworker Grace Etherington welcomed the listing, saying: “The time is right for AHMM to go back to the drawing board.”
AHMM has declined to comment but a spokesperson for Wolfe said it planned to carry on with the project while acknowledging that the plans submitted in February would have to go through a new process of consultation.
In a statement it said: “We remain confident that we will be able to sensitively restore and modernise this 1980s building. Fundamentally, our proposals are based on the respectful adaptation of the existing building, creating significant improvements to its setting within the conservation area and upgrading the building to create flexible workspace and to make it more sustainable.
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“We remain committed to our proposals which will deliver space for additional jobs, create an enhanced pedestrian experience for visitors to the South Bank and unlock huge economic benefits for Lambeth. We will be discussing with Lambeth council and Historic England the most appropriate manner in which to bring forward these proposals which are widely supported.”
The South Bank’s collection of brutalist buildings have been through a torrid time, with successive culture seretaries refusing to list the Hayward Gallery, Purcell Room and Queen Elizabeth Hall, while Feilden Clegg Bradley’s proposal to build on its roof sparked outrage and was eventually canned.