Four Post-War UK Buildings Given Heritage Status

The Spectrum Building / Foster + Partners. Image © Richard Davies, Courtesy Foster + Partners

Four post-war buildings, including the Spectrum Building by Norman Foster and Capel Manor House by Michael Manser, have been elevated to the List by the UK’s Architecture and Minister Ed Vaizey. Upon announcing the news, the Minister commented that in spite of England’s ”fine and wonderful built heritage it’s sometimes forgotten that we have many outstanding modern buildings too.” His listings show that “architecture in this country is very much alive and well in the modern world.”

Read more about the buildings after the break…

The Spectrum Building, designed by Lord Foster in 1980 for Renault, has been described as a building indicative of Foster’s influence in “the early development of High-Tech architecture”, featuring “bold and distinctive yellow steel ‘umbrella masts’ and a yellow roof around the single-storey glass-walled warehouse”. The building appeared so futuristic that it was used as the “backdrop to scenes in the 1984 James Bond film, A View to a Kill“. Capel Manor House, by Michael Manser CBE RA, was “one of the first domestic houses to use exposed steel beams and floor to ceiling glass panes” inspired by the techniques pioneered by Mies van der Rohe. Both buildings have been assigned Grade II* listing, “joining just 5.5%” of all listed buildings in the UK.

Capel Manor House / Michael Manser. Image © Gyles Portman

Other buildings on the list include the Gravesend Civil Defence Bunker, a command post for use in the event of a Soviet air attack during the Cold War, along with a Brutalist electricity substation in by Jefferson Sheard Architects.

References: English Heritage, Architects’ Journal, BDOnline

Cite: Taylor-Foster, James. "Four Post-War UK Buildings Given Heritage Status" 21 Sep 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <>
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