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London, 335 - 336 Strand, English Electric House

Commercial Office (20th Century), Tower Block (20th Century)

Site Name London, 335 - 336 Strand, English Electric House

Classification Commercial Office (20th Century), Tower Block (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Citibank House

Canmore ID 287930

Site Number TQ38SW 21

NGR TQ 3065 8090

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/287930

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2021.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Not Applicable
  • Parish Westminster
  • Former Region Greater London
  • Former District Westminster
  • Former County Greater London

Sir Basil Spence

Building Details

In 1954 Basil Spence was invited to enter a competition to design a new office block extension for the headquarters of the English Electric Company at Marconi House, Aldwych, London. The site of the new building was occupied by the Gaiety Theatre, which had been damaged during the Second World War. When combined with the existing site, this created a triangular block formed from the intersection of the surrounding streets.

The competition brief asked for the new building to be integrated as much as possible with the existing accommodation to allow the two buildings to function as a single block. The competition was judged by Sir Percy Thomas and John Murray Easton and nine architectural firms were invited to enter. A letter in the archive shows that a design by Sir John Burnet Tait and Partners was chosen as the winning entry. The final building was designed by Adam Holden and Pearson.

The drawings in the Archive show that Spence’s design formed a high-rise tower, connected to the existing buildings by four-storey link blocks on either side. His design also included two single-storey glass fronted blocks that connected to the arcade of Marconi house.

Archive Details

The manuscript material in the Sir Basil Spence Archive includes correspondence between Basil Spence and Ove Arup, who had advised Spence on the structural considerations and layouts of the scheme.

The Archive material also shows that Spence agreed to his competition design being exhibited at the Royal Institute of British Architects in March 1955. This followed a display of the competition entries at Marconi House. The drawings in the Archive also show that Spence intended to incorporate a vast sculpture on the entrance facade of the new building.

Archive Summary

The Sir Basil Spence Archive holds two manuscripts folders including 19 press cuttings, 38 drawings, which include a series of presentation plans and elevations mounted on board, and one photograph which shows a perspective of Spence’s design.

This text was written as one of the outputs of the Sir Basil Spence Archive Project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, 2005-08.

Architecture Notes

Constructed in 1957 for the English Electric Company.

Architects: Adams, Holden and Pearson.

Demolished in 2006.

References

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