KU lecturer: United Nations should save London’s pubs

Kingston lecturer David Knight has taken his fight to preserve London’s pubs to the UN.

Alexia Ganotaki

Architecture lecturer David Knight took his third-year students with him on a quest to save London’s pubs by getting them United Nations protection.

Inspired by the closure of his favourite pub, Mr Knight decided to try to save London’s boozers by convincing the government and the United Nations they belong on the World Heritage list, a list of preserved and protected landmarks that include the pyramids in Egypt.

Architecture student Liam Andrews said: “The London pubs are  buildings that bring people together, give people memories and when you lose it or it gets shut down, it is, in a way, like you are starting fresh again.”

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation works to protect and preserve sites of “outstanding value to humanity”.

The project has received great interest from The Guardian’s architecture and design critic Oliver Wainwright, the Architect’s Journal’s James Pallister and The Design for London team.

Mr Pallister said: “The architecture of pubs and their interior decor is important and it would be terrible if some of the excellent pubs in London were redecorated or sold off for flats.”

According to the Campaign for Real Ale a dozen pubs close across the UK every week.

Although getting sights on the list is a complex and slow process which can take as long as 10 years, the work of over 400 students gives it greater chances.

“It’s relativly easy to save a building, but it’s relatively hard to save the life of the place.”

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