Kodak House, 63 Kingsway, London WC2

From the Historic England entry:

“Office block, incorporating Nos 61 & 65. c1911. By Sir John Burnet and Partners (job architect Thomas Tait) for Kodak; later attic storey. Built by Allen Construction Co. Steel framed construction with Portland stone facing and bronze spandrel panels emphasising the method of structure. Bronze roof canopy with antefixae masks.

EXTERIOR: 6 storeys, basement and C20 attic storey. 5 window bays to main frontage, splayed 1 window corner treatment and 7 window bays to return. Windows with post 1973 glazing; originally 6 light casements with leaded panes. Plate glass ground floor frontage. Central doorway with bolection moulded surround and flanked by bronze torches. Plain stone continuous sill at 1st floor level; square-headed recessed windows. Stone pilasters between bays rise from 2nd floor level; they have bases but not capitals and lead flush into the top frieze. Coved stone cornice with band of Greek fret ornament.

INTERIOR: has good original staircases, the principal staircase to 1st floor level of marble with bronze handrail. Other features may remain behind partitioning.

HISTORICAL NOTE: an early example in London of an office block treated in a straightforward manner. Although a pioneering work of modern design it evolves from an Edwardian Neo-Classical design, stripped of almost all ornament and with a Beaux Arts axial plan. Burnet made a study tour of America in preparation for this project. The detail appears to be by Thomas Tait: despite Burnet’s doubts about the lack of usual decoration, the client liked the simplicity.”

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