Ideal House, London

  • Great Marlborough Street/Argyll Street, London, W1F 7TA
  • Designed by: Raymond Hood and Gordon Jeeves
  • Built: 1928 - 1929
  • Tags: Art Deco, Commercial

Ideal House in London stands on the corner of Great Marlborough Street and Argyll Street, just off Regent Street. The building is an impressive structure, standing out from the buildings nearby with is polished black granite facade and gold-coloured decoration.

Ideal House was designed by architects Raymond Hood and Gordon Jeeves for the American National Radiator Company. The design was inspired by the American Radiator Building on Bryant Park in Manhattan, New York designed by Raymond Hood and John Howells and built in 1924. That building was an early skyscraper for New York so its tall appearance contrasts with that of Ideal House, however the black and gold exterior is common to both buildings.

Completed between 1928 and 1928 Ideal House must have a dramatic sight when completed, contrasting against the more traditional London architecture on Regent Street and in the surrounding area. Ironically, the Tudor-style Liberty opposite on the south side of Great Marlborough Street was built four years previously, yet in architectural style it is centuries apart compared to Ideal House.

The building was constructed of large polished blocks of black granite. The upper storey of the building is ornamented with an enamel frieze and cornice in yellows, oranges, greens and gold. The black and gold colours were the colours of the National Radiator Company. The entrances on Great Marlborough Street and Argyll Street were decorated with ornate enamel surrounds, although the surround on Argyll Street was subsequently removed.

The building comprised some seven stories, with a recessed attic storey. The south elevation on Great Marlborough Street consisted of seven bays from the first floor upwards. The windows on the seventh floor are of lesser height than those below. When built, the building extended for four bays northwards along Argyll Street. In 1935 Ideal House was subsequently extended and a further seven bays added. This accounts for the larger gap between the seventh and eighth bay on the Argyll Street elevation.

The building originally comprised a showroom on the ground floor and office above. Today, the building accommodates two restaurants on the ground floor and private accommodation above. The building is now known as Palladium House after its neighbour, the London Palladium theatre.

The building was awarded Grade-II status on 16 January 1981.

This is an updated and revised building profile first published on 1 March 2009.

Posted on Sunday, March 6, 2016

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