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As sale of British broadcaster Channel 4 looms, issues develop for Richard Rogers–designed headquarters

To appreciable controversy, the U.Okay. authorities is urgent forward with its plans to dump publicly-owned tv community Channel 4, which first started transmission in 1982 as a “culturally difficult” various to BBC1, BBC2, and ITV. Whereas the privatization of Channel 4 has generated sufficient outrage throughout the pond as is, British preservation nonprofit Twentieth Century Society (C20) can be sounding the alarm concerning what might probably turn into of the community’s iconic, Richard Rogers-designed London headquarters at 124 Horseferry Street in Westminster if, in reality, the sale goes by way of.

As defined by C20 in a current dispatch expressing its “robust help” of bestowing Channel 4 headquarters with protected listed standing to safeguard it from future redevelopment or important alterations, the constructing, which is estimated to be valued at upwards of $130 million (£100 million), could possibly be among the many first of the community’s belongings on the chopping block within the occasion of privatization. Whereas Channel 4 relocated its nationwide headquarters to Leeds in 2019 whereas opening artistic hubs in Glasgow and Bristol, the 160,000-square-foot constructing, which uniquely options just one studio situated on the basement degree, continues to be utilized by high executives and promoting employees on the community. Channel 4 itself, which is commercially-funded regardless of being publicly-owned, is staunchly against the federal government’s privatization scheme.

The Architects’ Journal was first to report on C20’s urging for broadcaster’s London headquarters to be listed.

exterior of a broadcasting building in london with a giant rainbow "4"
(Derek Winterburn/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0)

Channel 4’s London headquarters debuted in 1994 as the primary main fee for the Richard Rogers Partnership following the completion of the Lloyd’s of London constructing in 1986. The agency was awarded mission out of competitors, beating James Stirling and Bennetts Associates. Building kicked off in 1990.

Very similar to the Lloyd’s constructing, which was set for a significant revamp till that “once-in-a-generation” mission was finally placed on maintain months after it was first introduced, the Channel 4 headquarters is thought for its “inside out” nature wherein “its providers are externally expressed and the structural parts are to the fore,” as C20 defined. The group additionally famous that the conclave glass wall of the constructing’s hovering entrance atrium is considered the primary hanging curved curtain wall in London.

a person riding in an exterior elevator
(.Martin./Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0)

Wrote C20:

The constructing admirably expresses the perceived identification of the broadcaster, whereas reflecting civic and contextual values – revolutionary, socially conscious and prepared to take dangers. We consider the Channel 4 HQ to be worthy of itemizing on the highest grade and are urging Historic England to conduct a wider evaluate of the constructed legacy of its Pritzker Prize successful architect, who handed away in December 2021.

“The Channel 4 headquarters counts as considered one of Rogers most vital public commissions within the UK, one which completely needs to be listed,” added C20 director Catherine Croft in a press release. “It was function constructed for the broadcaster and displays the values of a publically owned establishment. Whereas the constructing itself might probably go well with different occupants, it might be unhappy to see a landmark constructing stripped of its function and threatened with a fast sale.”

As detailed by C20, a certificates of immunity (COI), a doc that ensures {that a} constructing will not be listed, was issued final November after plans to take away the atrium’s glazing emerged. The group “strongly opposed” the transfer.


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