How to list Modern buildings (Day conference)

11 November 2017

Modern Movement buildings seem to be treated differently from other buildings, both in terms of listing and of subsequent treatment, but is this really the case? If so should it be? If not, in what ways might current conditions be changed so as to improve the conservation of Modern Movement buildings – a key purpose of our organisation. This listing day will inform you about the listing process and give you a chance to put together a listing application for yourself.


Listing is the primary way to ensure heritage protection for buildings of merit from any period. Historic England, as the government’s adviser on the historic environment, recommends buildings for listing either as the result of thematic work or as the result of individuals or organisations submitting buildings to them for consideration. To assess the “national special interest” of buildings and sites for listing, Historic England uses a series of selection guides, arranged typologically, which lay out guidelines for listing based on architectural and historic factors, and give examples as precedents.

Modern buildings – particularly post-war ones – have had a fascinating and at times controversial relationship with the listing process. At a time when the architectural legacy of the recent past is more in the public spotlight than ever, and the capacity of local authorities and organisations to look after ageing building stock is coming under pressure, listing significant buildings from the 20th century was never more important.

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