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Civic Centre 2 is Grade II Listed by Historic England

The Council office building known as Civic Centre 2, has been listed Grade II by Heritage England. The Office and studio block, was built for the Architecture and Town Planning Department of Coventry City Council in 1957-1959. It was designed by George Sealey working under the City Architect, Arthur Ling.

 Drawings of Civic Centre 2

Civic Centre 2

Historic England gives the reasons for designation as follows:

"The Studio block of the Civic Centre 2 building, Earl Street, Coventry, the courtyard surface to its south and the eastern retaining wall of the courtyard are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

  • Architectural quality: the deliberately spare, curtain-walled studio block with its concrete frame, supported on pilotis, is a good example of refined modern-movement design of the late-1950s which benefits from careful detailing;
  • Historic interest: the building was the centre of design activity for the vibrant team of architects who were responsible for Coventry's redevelopment, several of whom subsequently had notable careers in other cities across Britain;
  • Expression of the building's purpose: the studio floors with their glass walls and the panels showing different samples of tiles, brickwork and paving all showed the purpose of the building;
  • Popular inclusiveness: by providing a purpose-built exhibition space at ground floor level with glass walls the building was designed to share the plans and models for the continuing redevelopment of Coventry with its citizens; a rare example of such inclusiveness at that time.

The Twentieth Century Society believe the building to be 'a clear celebration of post-war civic life' which demonstrates its original purpose clearly by virtue of the samples of building materials which were included in the structure, and also that the exhibition area which was a prominent, publicly-accessible space, indicates the strongly ideological nature of the department in Coventry in the post-war period, with its desire to reach out and include citizens in the design process. They feel that Coventy Civic Centre 2 is the fullest and most innovative expression of the ideals of the wider precinct."

 Plan showing location of listing

Plan showing the buildings to be listed.

Civic Centre 2

Civic Centre 2

Civic Centre 2

Civic Centre 2

Civic Centre 2

Civic Centre 2

Civic Centre 2

Reader Comments (4)

The Palace Yard and the glass showcase have been run down for a while. Now it's listed and owned by the Coventry University they train their architect students in it and bring it back to that wonderful Festival of Britain style

By Paul Maddocks on Saturday, July 1, 2017

Are the benches turned over to stop people sleeping on them or sitting on them? I bought a Theatre Director here the other day looking for places to stage outdoor theatre within the city in 2018. When do the council stop owning it and the university take it over?

By Paul Curtis on Sunday, July 2, 2017

I see that you have neither mentioned or pictured our Niaid. This was removed by vandalizing the rock brought from Corley specially to form part of the sculpture. This World class artwork now languishes in a dirty mower shed. It was purchased by Ling for the pool in the courtyard. Can you please address this act of civic vandalism .

By Vincent Hammersley on Monday, July 3, 2017

Niaid, a sculptural work by the young and talented George Wagstaff of the late 50s, should be reinstated. George gave up a promising career in London to devote his artistic talents to the 'new' post-war Coventry. Living locally still, it would not just be architecturally and artistically appropriate to have Niaid reinstated, but a recognition of his commitment to the city.

By anna douglas on Sunday, July 30, 2017

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