Unilever House

I have been doing background research on Unilever House where the majority of the staff of the RA (including me) are migrating when building work starts on Burlington Gardens later this year.   It’s an impressive building which I’ve only visited once before when it was the headquarters of the Leverhulme Trust.   Situated at the prow of Blackfriars Bridge, it was designed by James Lomax-Simpson, a member of the Lever Brothers Board, under the auspices of Sir John Burnet and Thomas Tait.   The drawings were exhibited in the Summer Exhibition.   Work began in 1929, the year of the Crash and flanking sculptures of horses (Controlled Energy) were added by Sir William Dick Reid, an ex-soldier and prolific designer of war memorials, who was elected an RA in 1928.   The lift cars were designed by Eric Gill.   The whole building was hollowed out between October 2004 and March 2007 by Kohn Pedersen Fox to create decks of offices overlooking a central atrium.   I like it (luckily):  grand, central, furnished by Vitra and half an hour’s brisk walk from the RA.

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2 thoughts on “Unilever House

  1. Joan Keating says:

    Some years ago we visited this building as part of ‘Open House’ weekend and enjoyed looking at the Conrad Shawcross trumpets suspended from the ceiling. Are they still there? My children’s memories of the visit are of the free ice cream given to all who attended – Unilever being the owners of Wall’s ice cream!

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