The 20th century was more distinguished in Britain in architectural terms than one might think. I have dealt in this column with glories of Edwardian baroque. There was some magnificent Art Deco – think of Broadcasting House, the Hoover factory or the De La Warr Pavilion at Bexhill – and even in the locust years from the Fifties to the Seventies the odd decent building popped up, when architects had some regard for proper materials and context, such as Bracken House in the City of London.
Late in the century architecture became once more about pleasing the eye of the public as well as impressing the architect’s peers, even if it took some getting used to. I am not surprised that James Stirling’s No 1 Poultry, which replaced a harmless Victorian building opposite the Mansion House and was described by the Prince of Wales as resembling a Thirties wireless, has just received a Grade II* listing;...
Register for free and access one Premium article per week
Enjoy unlimited access to Premium articles with a subscription
- Subscriber-only events and experiences
- Access Premium articles on our mobile app
30-day free trial
then only £2 per week