Revised by: Charles Hind and Author: Margaret Richardson
This books tells the story of 66 Portland Place – the home of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) – which was opened on 8th November 1934 by King George V and Queen Mary. The book recounts the background of how George Grey Wornum CBE, FRIBA won the commission for the project – in an open competition with 284 entrants and 3,600 designs – and details some of the other designs for the project. It describes the artists and craftsmen involved – such as Edward Bainbridge Copnall, James Woodford, Jan Juta and Raymond McGrath – and highlights the important and valuable role that they played. The book goes on to describe the main façade of the building – an austere and symmetrical rectangle of Portland stone, dominated by the giant central window above the bronze entrance doors – the Entrance Hall, the Henry Jarvis Hall and Foyer, and the magnificent main staircase with its intricate detail and the four great marble columns, which in their richness and scale contribute so much to the institutional splendour of the building. It describes the Florence Hall – which was designed as the Institute’s principal reception room – and highlights the deeply splayed piers of Perrycot limestone which are the main feature of the room. The book also covers the Aston Webb Room, the Library and the Council Chamber. Packed with full-colour photographs, this book shows how 66 Portland Place is a classic example of an early 1930s building, commissioned by architects for architects, and was at the time a perfect compromise between classicism and the prevailing modernism.
Source: RIBA Bookshops