Banco Sabadell, 120 Pall Mall, London

Edwin Lutyens
Date Built
120 Pall Mall, London
The name above the door at 120 Pall Mall is Sabadell House but, in relative terms, the Spanish Bank, after whom the building is named, is a recent occupant.  The maple leaf at the top of the building is the clue to the building's origin.  It was, infact, designed by Edwin Lutyens for a Canadian company called Crane Limited and its British subsidiary Crane-Bennett.  The basement, ground and first floors were designed as show-rooms, with a visitors' lounge in the mezzanine at the back. The other floors were to be let separately as offices.  The company was in the business of heating and sanitary engineering.  Crane Limited didn't occupy the building for very long.  The "British History Online" website says that they left in 1932 after which the building became home to the Holland America Line (London) Limited. 

The "British History Online" website describes Lutyens building as, " ... no mere clothing of structural steel with Portland stone—it is a masonry construction, with depth as well as height and width, the composition is bold and full of subtle relationships, and the details are exquisitely precise. There are two lofty stages, the lower forming a powerful base, dominated by the cavernous unmoulded arch of the show-room window, asymmetrically placed and having the pedimented doorway and a square mezzanine window on its left, and a range of three deeply recessed windows above."

Two square and two round columns feature ornamented capitals and the decoration is continued as a band across the wall faces. The capitals also have small stone bells, a characteristic of Lutyens so-called 'Delhi' order.  This is a feature that he used in his interior design of the Midland's Bank in Manchester, see below.

I have seen it suggested that his use of stone bells is founded on an Indian legend that says that dynasties fall to the sound of ringing bells, so the best way to ensure that a dynasty, like the British Empire, would survive was to create stone bells that cannot ring.  I have also seen it suggested that this is pure mythology.  Interestingly Lutyens' coat of arms has at its centre a column capital with bells.