Albert Hall Mansions, Richard Norman Shaw

Albert Hall Mansions, Richard Norman Shaw

These luxurious red-brick apartments were the first to be designed in the new ‘Queen Anne’ style that was based on English and Dutch architecture of the early 18th century. They were immediately copied throughout London. Since London had no tradition of apartment blocks for the middle and upper classes, Shaw took his plans from French examples. Several blocks comprise Albert Hall Mansions and together they wrap around the Albert Hall to appear like a fragment of a European city set down in London. The symmetrical planning of the façade facing the park gives the building a dignified and monumental character, in contrast to the romantic profile of Lowther Lodge, next door. In fact, the architect has paid little attention to the surrounding buildings. This block overwhelms Shaw’s own Lowther Lodge and dwarfs even the massive Albert Hall.