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The tedious beauty of Basingstoke: what the southern “overspill” town can tell us about modern architecture

Places without history now have their own story to tell

By Owen Hatherley  

A shot of Basing View. Photo: Chris Guy

Recently, Historic England listed a tranche of post-war office blocks. Most of them were in London, or in big cities like Leeds and Birmingham, but one of the largest—and the one that was usually used to illustrate the articles—was Gateway House (now Mountbatten House), built for the paper merchants Wiggins Teape and designed by Peter Foggo of Arup Associates in 1974. It is better known as the “hanging gardens of Basingstoke,” because of the way it integrates quite luxuriously crafted…

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