Postmodern architecture is making history – and about time | Catherine Croft

From industrial estates to housing estates, the listing of 17 PoMo buildings is an enlightened move. But what about brutalism?

The listing of 17 postmodern buildings by Historic England is great news, even if the structures that have made the grade – from a Slough industrial estate to the home of the architectural historian Charles Jencks in Kensington – are the most cerebral examples out there. That we are now starting to get to grips with PoMo architecture’s controversial legacy is welcome, not least because other important buildings have already been destroyed, and others are threatened.

Two years ago the Twentieth Century Society ran a conference in response to the growing threat to postmodern buildings in London and beyond. In 2015 we campaigned for James Sterling’s No 1 Poultry at Bank, which was about to be mutilated, to be given listed status. This stripy pink building, completed in 1997, sits in the conservative heart of the City of London, and was only erected after a prolonged and bitter fight to keep the Victorian buildings on the site before it. Perhaps in part because many conservationists still around today had campaigned so passionately against it in the first place, the listing was a struggle.

The pedimented Marco Polo House in Battersea (once the Observer’s home) is perhaps not much of a loss

Related: Cheeky, cartoonish … and under threat: why our postmodern buildings must be saved

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