Lawrence Hall - Westminster, London

Murray Easton and Howard Robertson
Date Built
1923 - 1928
Greycoat Street
This hall belongs to the Royal Horticultural Society and was built in the mid 1920s as a venue for the society to stage its various shows and exhibitions.  It was an addition to the society’s first horticultural hall on Elverton Street called Lindley Hall, built in 1904.  Lawrence Hall is a Grade II* listed building described in the listing information as, “ ... Brown brick and stone entrance administrative block behind which is the innovatory concrete framed exhibition hall with brick infill. ... The interior exposes the structural reinforced concrete frame of tall parabolic arches which begin as square piers ... "  The design of the tall parabolic arches, that are a feature of the exhibition hall, is attributed to Easton and it is thought that it was inspired by Scandinavian timber construction and the design of the Orly airship hangers in 1921 by Hennebique and Freyssinet.  The building has a number of art deco features as you can see from the canopies above the entrance and the lights above the doors.  Apparently in 2011 the RHS leased the hall to Westminster School retaining the right to use it for RHS flower shows.  The school uses it for sports.

Howard Robertson collaborated with Easton in the design of this building.  Robertson was also responsible for the Shell Centre on York Road near Waterloo Station.  Robertson was the recipient of the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 1949 and served as RIBA president from 1952 until 1954.  When the United Nations decided to build its headquarters in New York they chose not to hold a competition to chose an architect.  Wallace K. Harrison, the American architect was appointed as the Director of Planning and he was assisted by a team of leading architects, planners and engineers from ten member countries.  Among the prominent names on this board were Le Corbusier from France, Oscar Niemeyer from Brazil and from the UK Howard Robertson.