157, Piccadilly

As I was getting money out of the cash machine, I saw a building I have seen a thousand times lit up in the evening sun.   It’s the former Royal Insurance building on the corner of Piccadilly and St. James’s Street, designed by J.J. Joass of Belcher and Joass, a Scot from Dingwall who trained in Glasgow and who seems to have imbibed some of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s adventurous indiscipline.   As Pevsner says – or maybe it is Simon Bradley – ‘the indiscipline must be considered a positive quality.   The endeavour here was clearly to smash up the classical conventions, but the fragments are left in a restless disquieting pattern’:-




One thought on “157, Piccadilly

  1. Thank you, like you I must have passed it a hundred times and never properly looked at it. It’s the continual delight of your blog – seeing London with fresh eyes.


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