Reasons for Designation
* An unusual example of a post-war City Livery Company hall in a resolutely modern style.
* Completed in 1976 to the designs of the John S Bonnington Partnership, with initial design concept by the renowned post-war architect Basil Spence in 1968.
* Dramatic massing and tooled concrete result in an impressive exterior.
* The significant interior spaces are of particular quality, notably the fully ash-lined fluted livery hall, the rosewood lined court room, and the Travertine entrance hall.
* Group value with rich time-depth of designated assets in the immediate vicinity: the Grade II Andrewes House of the Barbican Estate to the north; the scheduled section of Roman and Medieval wall at St Alphage garden (immediately to the south of the hall); the Grade II remains of the Church of St Alphage's tower; and the scheduled site of the Roman and medieval gateway of Cripple Gate.
627/0/10280 FORE STREET
The Salters' Hall
Livery company hall with offices. 1967 design, built 1972-6. John S Bonnington Partnership, formerly Sir Basil Spence, Bonnington & Collins, and Spence had early conceptual design involvement.
MATERIALS: In situ concrete frame clad with aluminium curtain wall on lower office floors with smoke-coloured glass; ribbed, knapped and bush hammered concrete (painted in 1992) to modelled upper floors.
PLAN: Rectangular plan to Fore Street, with four storeys of lettable office space below a double-height hall and further Salters' accommodation at floors 5 and 6.
EXTERIOR: Fore Street level, with porte-cochere, is semi-open with pilotis, and the central wrought iron gates, dated 1887, and featuring birds and delicate foliate decoration; to the left is the name plaque. Above this, the four bays of office accommodation, divided by concrete piers, and with aluminum-framed, smoked-glass windows to north and south (except for north-east bay which is blind for the lifts inside). The exterior is defined by its dominant floors 5 and 6, which extend beyond the footprint of the stories below. The concrete faced floor 5 wraps around, blind to the north side, and with some windows and the Salters' coat of arms in bronzed GRP to the south. Rising from this at the west end is the two-storey main hall, and extending from the east end is the three-storey stair tower, flanked by a taller lift shaft. Floors 6 and 7 also hold the Salter's office, expressed externally with smaller windows in aluminum frames. The building connects with the high-level walkway to the east, which is not included in the listing.
INTERIOR: Fore Street level is lined in Travertine, with a Travertine staircase, and lifts to upper floors. The rented offices on floors 1, 2, 3, and 4 was open plan and has been modernised, altogether not of special interest inside. It is the main livery suite on the upper floors that forms the primary special interest of the interior. At floor 5, is the long Entrance Lobby with shallow vaulted ceiling, lit from above. The main cantilever staircase begins here and features Travertine skirting with smoked glass balustrade with silver bronze handrail. To south side, the square Court Room with low tray ceiling (formerly octagonal, now square) and panelled with Coral Rosewood; the Anteroom is Travertine lined. This leads to the double-height Livery Hall, which is fully lined in a fluted or reeded ash panelling, with corner windows, and a gallery. The panelling's fluting is more tightly spaced in the lower half of the wall and it is acutely coved at the top, ending to reveal a slightly higher, gently curved ceiling, which cleverly disguises the vents. The kitchen and service rooms to the west are not of special interest. At floor 6 is the Ladies' Dining Room, with a gallery overlooking the livery hall. Floor 7 retains the Salters' offices, also with some alteration.
HISTORY: The medieval hall of the Salters' Company, founded in 1394, was in Bread Street, and then in the C17 was rebuilt in St Swithin's Lane. This building was rebuilt several times, including after being destroyed in the Great Fire. The Salters' were also hit by the second great wave of City of London damage when the handsome 1823-7 hall by Henry Carr was destroyed in an air raid in May 1941. Fortunately, the gates of 1887 were salvaged and re-used in the present Fore Street building.
The Salters' Hall has been attributed to Basil Spence but it seems more likely that due to his age (it was near the end of his career, and he died in 1976) and some internal disagreements, he had a minor role in the design as built. Spence's partner from the firm of Basil Spence, Bonnington and Collins (founded in 1963) carried out the project as the John S Bonnington Partnership. The interior was fitted out and designed by a partnership of the leading interior designers David Hicks and Patrick Garnett.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The Salters' Hall is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* An unusual example of a post-war City Livery Company hall in a resolutely modern style;
* Completed in 1976 to the designs of the John S Bonnington Partnership, with initial design concept by the renowned post-war architect Basil Spence in 1968;
* Dramatic massing and tooled concrete result in an impressive exterior;
* The significant interior spaces are of particular quality, notably the fully ash-lined fluted livery hall, the Coral Rosewood lined court room, and the Travertine entrance hall;
* Group value with rich time-depth of designated assets in the immediate vicinity: the Grade II Andrewes House of the Barbican Estate to the north, the scheduled section of Roman and Medieval wall at St Alphage garden (immediately to the south of the hall), the Grade II remains of the Church of St Alphage's tower, and the scheduled site of the Roman and medieval gateway of Cripple Gate.
SOURCES: Simon Bradley and Nikolaus Pevsner, London 1: The City of London, The Buildings of England (1998)