DescriptionOnly the main block on Burton Street and parts of its wing were built to Lutyens’s designs when work was stopped by the War. The Burton Street façade stands today as one of Lutyens’s finest town elevations. It is a façade of great simplicity with something of the quality of a palazzo, with tall piano nobile windows punched into the plain brick wall over a base of open arches. The blocks of stone ‘boasted for carving’ give a particularly tough quality to the façade. After the War it was taken over by the B.M.A., extended to Tavistock Square and finished by C. Wontner Smith. (Amery et la, 1981, cat no.188)
Lutyens had a particularly personal connection with the headquarters of the British Medical Association because he had designed it as the headquarters of the Theosophical Society, with which his wife Emily was deeply involved. Work had begun in 1911 but was suspended for the duration of the War, following which the Society was not in a position to complete the building and so sold it to the BMA.
Lutyens designed some delicate gates as a memorial to the fallen of the Association which were dedicated by the Archbishop of Canterbury on 13 July 1925 on a day of celebration during which King George V and Queen Mary had formally opened BMA House. (Cherry & Pevsner, 1998, p.265)
BibliographyAmery, C., Richardson, M. and Stamp, G., (1981) Lutyens, the Work of the English Architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944): Hayward Gallery London, 18 November 1981 – 31 January 1982. London: Arts Council of Great Britain.
Also Cited InCherry B & Pevsner N (1998) LONDON 4: NORTH. The Buildings of England. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Gradidge, R. (1982) Edwin Lutyens: Architect Laureate. London: Allen & Unwin.
Gliddon, G. and Skelton, T.J. (2008) Lutyens and the Great War. London: Frances Lincoln.
EDWARDS, T., 1925. THE BRITISH MEDICAL ASSOCIATION HOUSE, TAVISTOCK SQUARE, W.C. Country Life (Archive : 1901 – 2005), 58(1488), pp. 70-72.
ClientMrs Annie Besant