Society bids to save school buildings from redevelopment

The Canterbury Society is hoping to protect the main building of the Girls' Langton.

The unique modernist buildings at Simon Langton Girls’ School should be saved for future generations, according to the Canterbury Society.

Built in the 1950s, the main block looks set to be knocked down within a year unless Kent County Council bows to public pressure over the proposals.

A consultation on the plan closed on February 14. Writing to the authority, the Canterbury Society argued that the existing development comprises “a confident, assured and elegant quality that is rare to find in any buildings”.

Writing on behalf of the Canterbury Society, architect Keith Bothwell, says the Langton buildings “are of high architectural quality at all levels”, that materials are “detailed with finesse, with some fine terrazzo features” and that the composition of the facades and windows is “very attractive, and characteristic of its historic period”. The entrance approach is “understated but very thoughtfully considered”.

So important was it seen architecturally that it was listed in the prestigious Pevsner’s’ Buildings of England which described it as “brick and glass elegantly handled”.

The school had originally wanted to retain this part of its heritage by investing in an updating programme.

However, the Education and Skills Funding Agency, the funder, is seeking a complete new-build as a way of saving costs.


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