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Norco House in Aberdeen

Richard Rogers' Channel 4 headquarters among top 10 at-risk UK buildings

The Museum of London and the Channel 4 headquarters by Richard Rogers are among the UK's top 10 under-threat buildings, according to architectural charity Twentieth Century Society.

The list, which was published today by the Twentieth Century Society (C20), features 10 "amazing buildings currently facing demolition or disfigurement".

Also included on the list, which is released every two years, are the brutalist Norco House in Aberdeen and the art deco Riviera Hotel in Weymouth.

The majority of the buildings on The Risk List are in England, which is home to seven of the at-risk structures, while two are in Scotland and one is in Wales.

Channel 4 headquarters by Richard Rogers features on The Risk List by C20 Society
Above: Richard Rogers' Channel 4 headquarters is at risk, photo courtesy of RHSP. Main image: Norco Centre is also on the list, photo by Spottiewattie17

To underline the urgency of rethinking the demolition of these buildings, C20 referenced the growing debate around reuse and retrofit in architecture and the impact of deconstruction on the environment.

C20 director Catherine Croft said that all of the buildings on the list "deserve to survive" and that "the positive benefits of keeping them are immeasurable".

"Once a building is demolished there is no turning back, a unique creation is lost forever," Croft explained.

"Whilst some of these buildings may need imaginative renewal, all are capable of inspiring and energising new uses," she continued. "We need to make sure that none of these opportunities are missed."

Museum of London in City of London
The Museum of London building could be totally demolished. Photo by Robert Evans

Among the most well-known buildings at risk in England is the Channel 4 headquarters in Westminster, London, designed by British architect Rogers and completed in 1994.

According to the charity, it could be at risk of being sold if Channel 4 is privatised and is under threat of redevelopment or alteration. C20 is campaigning for it to join the other five listed buildings designed by Roger and the Team 4 studio that he co-founded.

Post-war department store and power station towers under threat

Also in London are the Museum of London and Bastion House, which were designed by the architecture studio Powell & Moya and completed in 1976.

The post-war buildings, located on the corner of Grade II-listed Barbican Estate, are under threat of total demolition as the museum is moving to a new cultural quarter nearby. The Barbican Action Quarter campaign is currently fighting for them to be retained.

Power station cooling towers in West Burton feature on The Risk List by C20 Society
The West Burton cooling towers are also at risk of total demolition. Photo by K7 Photography

Another post-war building on the list is Norco House in Aberdeen. The brutalist ziggurat building used to house a branch of the department store John Lewis, but the retailer closed in 2021.

The building is now under threat of demolition after being rejected for listed status in 2020.

In West Burton, three power station cooling towers are at risk of total demolition, as public body Historic England's advice is that these structures are "not distinctive enough to deserve protection".

C20 argues that the distinctive 106-metre-high towers – the placement of which was advised by artist Henry Moore – could be reused in an imaginative way.

Two out of ten buildings currently listed

Only two of the ten buildings on this year's list are already listed: the art deco Riviera Hotel in Weymouth and the Scottish Widows building in Edinburgh, which was designed by Spence, Glover and Ferguson and received the RIBA Award for Scotland in 1977.

Riviera Hotel in Weymouth
The Grade II-listed Riviera Hotel is the oldest building on the list. Photo by James O Davies

The Riviera Hotel, which features collonaded walkways enclosed by slender blue and white arches, is the oldest building on the list. Though it was Grade II-listed in 1997, the hotel has been slipping into decline and recently suffered significant storm damage, C20 said.

Other buildings on the list include the Jagonari Centre, a Bengali women's resource centre in London designed by Matrix with decorative Jali grills, and the Cardiff County Hall in South Glamorgan designed by the county architect's office.

The Point building in Milton Keynes is on The Risk List by C20 Society
The Point building in Milton Keynes has stacked mirrored boxes. Photo by Patrick McCarthy

The final buildings on the list are the Point in Milton Keynes by BDP, which comprises stacked mirrored boxes underneath a red-steel pyramidal frame, and Birmingham's "carchitecture" Ringway Centre by James Roberts and Sydney Greenwood.

Buildings from previous risk lists have been saved

Alongside The Risk List, C20 also shared positive updates from buildings featured in the 2021 list. The Swindon Oasis Leisure Centre has now been Grade II-listed, and London's City Hall has had a Certificate of Immunity from Listing refused, which means it can be rented out and qualify for future listing.

There are also plans underway for retaining the Swansea Civic Centre, and C20 said the future of Derby Assembly Rooms, which was set to be demolished, looks "promising".

Finally, the charity said Dunelm House, which made the list in 2017, has received the Grade II listing and Alton Estate, which featured on the list in 2019, is no longer under immediate threat of demolition.

More images

South Glamorgan County Hall
Scottish Widows building
Scottish Widows building
Ringway Centre Birmingham
Jagonari Centre