Heritage Industry News London & South East

Protecting London pubs

London Pubs- Kingston University- Heritage- UNESCO

Kingston University’s interior design, architecture and landscape architecture students are applying to get United Nations-protected status for London pubs.

Students are currently developing a 350-page document which they hope will lead to all London pubs being granted world heritage status by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Kingston University Tutor, David Knight, said:

“UNESCO has a tradition of listing so-called serial sites, from prehistoric caves in France to modernist housing estates in Berlin. We’re not focusing on the fixtures and fittings but rather on the role a pub plays in a community and what it means to the people who use it.

“It’s not just about a place for drinking – or even meeting friends – it may be that a pub has a function room which plays a pivotal role in a community, hosting receptions after weddings or funerals.”

More than 400 students from Kingston University’s School of Architecture, Landscape and Interior Design are working together to produce the document – developing a project that has entailed visiting and documenting more than 80 pubs across the capital.

London Pubs- Kingston University- Heritage- UNESCO

Head of School at Kingston University, Daniel Rosbottom, commented:

“Thinking about a special pub and what’s unique about it, it suddenly seems a bit futile to only protect its physical fabric, without thinking of who uses it and for what. The surveys, which students have carried out, describe more than just physical things. They attempt to understand how those things relate to the needs of the pub’s community.”

All Kingston’s architecture students will be looking more broadly at UNESCO World Heritage sites during this academic year and beyond. The campaign has won extensive support through Twitter and has already generated interest in Japan, Australia and Russia.

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