102 Petty France
|102 Petty France|
102 Petty France photographed from Broadway
|Height||56 metres (184 ft)|
|Floor area||51,000 square metres (550,000 sq ft)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Sir Basil Spence|
102 Petty France is an office block on Petty France in Westminster, London, overlooking St. James's Park, which was designed by Fitzroy Robinson & Partners, with Sir Basil Spence and completed in 1976. It was well known as the main location for the UK Home Office department between 1978 and 2004 when it was known as 50 Queen Anne's Gate and now houses the Ministry of Justice. The building is 56 metres (184 ft) high, with 14 floors providing 51,000 square metres (550,000 sq ft) of office space.
The site was previously occupied by the enormous 14-storey mansion block Queen Anne's Mansions which were despised by some architectural commentators - Lord Reigate speaking in the House of Lords in 1972 against the plans for the new building used Pevsner's description "that irredeemable horror" However, the new building was not favourably received architecturally either, due to its scale and massing with protruding elements at the upper and lower floors, often being described as a Brutalist design: it was sometimes known to those who worked there as "the Lubyanka". Fodor's guide to London described it as "hulking", and Lord St John of Fawsley remarked that "Basil Spence's barracks in Hyde Park ruined that park; in fact, he has the distinction of having ruined two parks, because of his Home Office building, which towers above St James's Park." The building was originally built as a speculative office development but the Home Office moved to it due to lack of space in its previous headquarters in Whitehall.
In spring 2005 the Home Office moved to a new purpose-built building at 2 Marsham Street designed by Terry Farrell. The Queen Anne's Gate building had major refurbishment work carried out on it, whilst being under the ownership of Land Securities, and from Spring 2008 has been the home of the Ministry of Justice, with the building renamed 102 Petty France.
- "4 July 1972". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) (House of Lords). col. 1305.
- Michael Cockerell (reporter) (14 February 2010). The Great Offices of State: The Dark Department. BBC Four. Event occurs at 25:10. Retrieved 14 February 2010. "Jack Straw: it was awful in those days, we used to call it Lubyanka"
- "28 June 2005". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) (House of Lords). col. 200.
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