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Photographer: John C. Trotter

Midland Bank Head Office (currently a hotel)

Gazetteer No. G0389

Date 1924-39

Address 27 Poultry London, Greater London EC2R 8AJ England


Lutyens’s ‘big scheme’ for the Midland Bank’s new headquarters was approved by Reginald McKenna and the Bank’s Directors in 1924. This project was again the result of a collaboration. Lutyens prepared the elevations, the banking hall and the reception areas on the fourth and fifth floors, and all the other work was undertaken by Gotch and Saunders of Kettering. The main executive responsibility was carried out by J.A. Gotch (President of the RIBA, 1923-25) but after about 1932 this task was assumed by his nephew Laurence Gotch. The Poultry section of the building was ready by 1930 and the Princes Street extensions were completed in 1939. (Amery et al, 1981, Cat no.197)

Next the MIDLAND BANK HEADQUARTERS, 1924-39 by Lutyens (executive architects Gotch & Saunders). Lutyens owed the job to his friendship with the bank’s chairman Reginald Mackenna, for whom he had designed the gem-like little Midland Bank in Piccadilly (1922). Despite its giant scale, the same loving attention to detail is here everywhere apparent. The vocabulary comes from Italian Mannerism, first deployed by Lutyens at Heathcote, Yorkshire (1906), but here it clothes a lofty steel-framed mass without the control of an implicit order. Large arched ground floor with recessed entrance and the architect’s favourite dis- appearing Doric pilasters. Big keystones with carved heads to the windows. Mezzanine above with scallop-shaped keystones, then three storeys made into one by tall unadorned arches with banded rustication, the height of both stone blocks and storeys gradually and very subtly diminishing. Smoother bands interrupting the channelled stone mark where the façade sets back, an inch at a time. Each end is rebated above the mezzanine, to accommodate the figure of a fat boy with a goose, designed by Lutyens and carved by Sir William Reid Dick. (Bradley & Pevnser, 1997, pp.579-80)


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 & Pevnser N (1997) LONDON 1: THE CITY. 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.

WELLESLEY, G., 1927. ARCHITECTURE AT THE ACADEMY: AND AT THE R.I.B.A. GALLERIES. Country Life (Archive : 1901 – 2005), 61(1585), pp. 912-914.

Listing Grade


Listing Reference



Midland Bank