Harley House, 1923

Repost this day 2018:

HarleyHouse, a ‘chambers’ built for the medical profession (named after the once famous medical street in London #HarleySteeet), 1923, in a broadly #CommercialPalazzo form by #SydneySmithOggandSerpell. Said to have Greek and Egyptian motifs, but I don’t see them – I see Georgianish arches, #ChicagoSchool #bayWindows, a giant stylised classical #cornice, in fact the whole thing pretty much a short version of an 1890s Chicago skyscraper, which by the 20s was the standard skyscraper form. Some contrasting details up the top – stylised #metopes, and a flowery thing on the corner (which is a stylised acroterion, a Greek thing that belongs on top of a cornice).

Also there’s an apartment tower by #BatesSmart just approved that’ll replace the 70s thing on the left, with a rather crazy podium, but at least it connects the cornice of the flanking older buildings. Update 2021: the tower site was out up for sale in Dec 2020.

And going backwards, the existing late 60s offices replaced ‘Old Admiralty House’, a mid 19thC townhouse that had a ballroom which became a dance school in 1923, later Ciro’s nightclub into the 50s. Update 2021: the tower site was put up for sale in Dec 2020.

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