160 Piccadilly, London W1J 9EB, UK
David Collins Studio (2003)
Should you be visiting the Royal Academy or doing anything around the Piccadilly area of London, you should also go and experience The Wolseley.
The building was originally designed in 1921 as a prestigious car showroom for Wolseley Motors Limited by William Curtis Green. The Wolseley website explains that:
‘He drew on Venetian and Florentine influences, as well as incorporating the Eastern exotic touches that were in fashion at the time. The grand, atmospheric interior with its towering pillars, arches and stairways was testament to the great ambitions of The Wolseley Car Company. The cars were displayed on the marble floor and cost between £225 – £1,300. Unfortunately, the cars did not sell well enough and by 1926 the Company was bankrupt.
Barclays Bank acquired the building and the new branch opened in April 1927. William Curtis Green was recalled to install managers’ offices on either side of the main entrance (now serving as a bar and salon) and a banking counter, further developing the Eastern lacquer theme. He also designed specialised furniture including a post box and stamp machine, still on display today.
In 2003 Corbin & King created a new restaurant within the building, with David Collins engaged as architect. Collins and his team retained as much as possible of the original William Curtis Green designs while overlaying his own refined and opulent approach.
Place: The Wolseley
Designer: David Collins Studio
Photographer: Courtesy of The Wolseley / Corbin & King and Stephen Varady
Review: The Guardian (28 Dec 2003) and The Telegraph (15 Nov 2003)
Map: The Wolseley Map
ALSO HAVE A LOOK AT STEPHENVARADY_ARCHITRAVELLER