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Photographer: Benjamin J. Hatherell

Grosvenor House

Gazetteer No. G0417

Date 1926-28

Address Park Lane London, Greater London W1Y 3TB England


Lutyens was responsible for the external elevations only, the architects being Wimperis, Simpson and Guthrie. Although on a vast scale, the bland Portland stone base with its disappearing Corinthian pilasters, and the Pavilions on the roof decorated with Roman arch-like forms (reminiscent of the more subtle Thiepval Arch) have a stylishness rare in architecture after 1914. The Pavilions seen riding over the trees of the park are a worthy addition to the London townscape. (Amery et al, 1981, Cat no.190)

Then Grosvenor House, a very large enterprise combining hotel and service flats, built in 1926–9 by the speculator A.O. Edwards. It replaced the Grosvenors’ c19 mansion, to general dismay at the leap in scale. The plan, by L. Rome Guthrie (Wimperis, Simpson & Guthrie), has four stepped e–w blocks connected partly by cross wings, partly by the single-storey shops, lobbies, dining room etc. along the pavement. Lutyens, the consultant architect to the Grosvenor Estate, was called in to add finesse to the elevations. They have stone-faced and pilastered footings, helped along by a central quadrant of free-standing columns. Above are bare brick walls and even fenestration, topped by four square pyramid-roofed pavilions for the lift housings (‘above the snow-line’, as Osbert Lancaster called it). These are treated with a triumphal arch motif on each side, and are placed on the w ends of the wings. Their grouping in views from the park is the best thing about Grosvenor House. American practice informed the bedroom plans, which featured separate bathrooms and entrance lobbies. se extension, 1956–7; public rooms remodelled 1955–61, and again since. (Bradley & Pevsner, 2003, p.553-4)


Amery, 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.

Bradley S & Pevsner N (2003) LONDON 6: WESTMINSTER. The Buildings of England. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Also Cited In

Butler, A., 1950. The architecture of Sir Edwin Lutyens: the Lutyens memorial series. Vol III: Town and Public Buildings: Memorials: The Metropolitan Cathedral, Liverpool, Country Life: London and Scibners: New York.

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