The importance of heritage architecture

The UK has one of the richest collections of heritage architecture in the world. It is a vital piece of the history here. More importantly, it is a major source of jobs and economic value, particularly GVA. As the home of some of the top choices for an architect London can offer, we can provide lots of help with these period buildings. In fact, we have had the pleasure to renovate a few of them.

What is it?

When you think of heritage architecture you probably imagine period buildings. You would be correct but that is not the whole story. In the UK there are many other things that have protection to preserve their significant historical or cultural importance. For example there are around 50 shipwrecks with listings plus 30+ world heritage sites, over 1,600 gardens or parks, dozens of battlefields, and 20,000+ ancient monuments.

What are the benefits?

Architect LondonHaving such a rich array of heritage architecture provides many benefits. Firstly, it attracts millions of tourists every year. Lots of visitors come to the UK to see these incredible assets. For example, the Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Kew Gardens, and Westminster Abbey all rank highly for most visited attractions. These properties generate billions in revenue for the economy.

Secondly, hundreds of thousands of people are employed in one respect or another because of these assets. This includes everything from managers and maintenance technicians to tour guides. Repairing and maintaining these properties alone creates lots of jobs and is worth billions to the economy.


One of the most important things here is to preserve the heritage architecture. A number of things help with this, including the listings. Plus, there are also conservation areas across the UK. Both of these limit what changes, if any, people can make to properties.

Surprisingly there is a huge amount of support for retaining the architecture. In a 2017 survey 74% were in favour of local authorities having the power to prevent changes to buildings that would harm the character and history. Residents in conservation areas had even more support for this at 83%.


So this can cause a lot of challenges for people that own period properties. It can limit what they can do with them in terms of modernisation, extension, and more. If you own one of these properties it is best to work with a skilful architect. They can help you to look at what you can and can’t do. Plus, they can work with local authorities to discuss everything from what materials to use to the design styles.

Working with a top architect in London

Coffey Architects is a team you can always rely on, even if you have trouble with designs or getting planning permission for a project. We do all we can to support our clients so they can get the properties they want. Where some may struggle with period heritage architecture, we can create complementary designs that satisfy all parties.

So, if you want to work with a passionate architect, London has few with as much to offer as us. You can get in touch today to tell us more about your property and what you want to do. We can then explore the options with you.