An illustration of Palladium House, an Art Deco commercial building originally built for the National Radiator Company. The building is near Oxford Circus in Central London Click the image to enlarge

Real beauty in design is achieved when utility if your goal

— Raymond Hood

Learn more about Palladium House below...

History

In 1928–29, Palladium House was built as offices for the National Radiator Company, the European branch of the American Radiator Company (ARC) which was first established in the US in 1892.

Having designed the New York headquarters building for the ARC, Raymond Hood was inspired to create something similar for Palladium House, or Ideal House as it was formerly known. Hood partnered with Gordon Jeeves, a British architect known for Earl's Court Exhibition Centre and Dolphin Square, and designed a building that was much smaller in scale but had much of the same aesthetics as its counterpart in New York.

Today, Palladium House is a Grade II listed building (awarded back in  1981), and hosts a restaurant on the ground floor with private flats above.

Did you know?

This was Raymond Hood's only building in Europe as he concentrated on designing much larger scale Art Deco sky-scrapers in America, such as the Tribune Tower in Chicago and the McGraw-Hill Building in New York.

The architecture

The building is in polished black granite and stands seven floors high with a recessed attic level at the top. It was originally four bays wide along Argyll Street, but another 7 bays were added in 1935, which explains the slightly larger gap between the fourth and fifth bays.

The decoration at the top of the sixth floor and the recessed attic is in Art Deco, and consists of an enamel frieze with elaborate designs in yellow, gold, orange, green, and red that runs all the way round the building, and leans more towards Egyptian influences which was very popular at the time due to the recent discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb.

The enamel surrounds above the main entrance doors included floral motifs, reminiscent of the 1925 Paris Exhibition, and echoed the colours of the enamel frieze at the top. Only one remains in situ, as the one originally placed above the entrance on Argyll Street is now displayed in the V&A Museum.

See images of Palladium House