Mid-morning, mid-December, London SW3

Above: the MTC logo on either side of the window has a suggestion, to my eye, of the scarab motif. Andrew Hopkins: “French people became fascinated with the ancient Egyptian history, culture, architecture and furniture. Egyptian ornamentation like scarab beetles, sphinxes, winged lions and lotuses details were incorporated into Classical style furniture and decorative arts creating a style known as a hybrid Neo-Egyptian.”

By star1950 at Pinterest.co.uk:

“Michelin was formally incorporated on May 11 1905. By the end of 1906, the company had outgrown its offices and depot at 49/50 Sussex Place, South Kensington and employed over 50 people. The Michelin brothers decided to design and build a completely new headquarters which they would own outright. On Friday 20 Jan 1911 the new building at 81 Fulham Road was opened and remained.”

https://www.newspapers.com/clip/42682345/the-guardian/

From Wikipedia:

Bibendum”, commonly referred to in English as the Michelin Man or Michelin Tyre Man, is the official mascot of the Michelin tyre company. A humanoid figure consisting of stacked white tyres, it was introduced at the Lyon Exhibition of 1894 where the Michelin brothers had a stand. He is one of the world’s oldest trademarks still in active use. The slogan Nunc est bibendum (“Now is the time to drink”) is taken from Horace‘s Odes(book I, ode xxxvii, line 1). He is also referred to as Bib or Bibelobis.

Michelin House at 81 Fulham Road, Chelsea, London, was constructed as the first permanent UK headquarters and tyre depot for the Michelin Tyre Company Ltd. The building opened for business on 20 January 1911. In 1987 the building was converted to mixed-use, with a store, restaurant, bar and office space.

Designed by one of Michelin’s employees, François Espinasse, the building has three large stained-glass windows based on Michelin advertisements of the time, all featuring the Michelin Man “Bibendum”.

(Manchesterhistory.net) “Michelin moved their headquarters to Stoke-on-Trent in 1930 but continued to own the Fulham Road building until 1985…The windows that grace the building today though are replicas. The original windows were removed and moved to Michelin’s Stoke-on-Trent factory during WWII to protect them from the bombing. However, in the intervening years they went missing.”

Michelin House is a unique building that is fine example of late Modern Style (British Art Nouveau style) and early Art Deco. It was designed and built at the end of the Art-Nouveauperiod; parts of this style can be seen in the decorative metal work at the front of the building above the fitting bays, and the tangling plants round the tyre motifs at the front and side of the building, and also in the mosaic in the entrance hall. Despite this, Michelin House is very much like an Art-Deco building, the popular style of the 1930s with its prominent roadside position and its strong advertising images and symmetry. In this respect, Michelin House is a building twenty years before its time and is also the first of the highly decorated buildings ‘built on tyres’, as Michelin House was built before Fort Dunlop (1916) and the Firestone Building (1928–1980).”

From: Historic England entry:

“1905, extended. 1910. Architect, F. Espinasse of Vic-le-Comte (Occitan: Vic la Còmte), a commune in the Puy-de-Dôme to the South of Clermont Ferrand department in Auvergne in central France.

(Wikipedia) The city’s industry was for a long time linked to the French tyre manufacturer Michelin, which created the radial tyre and grew up from Clermont-Ferrand to become a worldwide leader in its industry. For most of the 20th century, it had extensive factories throughout the city, employing up to 30,000 workers. While the company has maintained its headquarters in the city, most of the manufacturing is now done in foreign countries. This downsizing took place gradually…”

https://www.lamontagne.fr/clermont-ferrand-63000/actualites/a-la-redecouverte-des-meilleures-creations-darchitectes-puydomois-aujourdhui-francois-espinasse_12066411/

https://www.lamontagne.fr/clermont-ferrand-63000/actualites/a-la-redecouverte-des-meilleures-creations-darchitectes-puydomois-dont-francois-espinasse_12076423/

Large round arched central window with shaped gable over with tyre models as kneelers. First floor windows flat headed with words “Michelin Tyre Company Limited Bibendum” over. The material is Bermentofts Marmo facing. Series of pictorial tile panels on the side elevations (ground floor) and inside the drive-in by Gilardoni Fils of Paris. The panels represent the racing successes of cars with Michelin tyres between 1900 and 1908, and in the fitting bay Edward VII and Prince George in their Michelin type fitted car.”

From guide.Michelin.com:

“Opened in 1986, Bibendum Restaurant and Oyster Bar in London’s Fulham neighborhood is a joint project by prominent British restaurateurs Sir Terence Conran and Lord Paul Hamlyn. The two men acquired the unit within the Michelin House, a specially commissioned art deco building that served as MICHELIN’s headquarters from 1911 until the company relocated in 1985.

The front of the building was originally a tire-fitting bay for passing motorists, and restaurant diners today are still greeted by mosaic floor tiles showing Bibendum holding a goblet of nuts, bolts and other hazards, as well as a dramatic backdrop of stained glass windows portraying him as a kickboxer and a cigar-puffing cyclist. Unsurprisingly, the restaurant now renamedClaude Bosi at Bibendum is listed in the MICHELIN Guide UK’s 2021 edition with 2 MICHELIN Stars.”


David Airey, a graphic designer in Northern Ireland, writes “Logo Design Love is a website and book devoted to logos, symbols, icons, and marks. A pleasure to have you here.”

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