Fire Brigade Headquarters, Albert Embankment, Lambeth, London

LCC Architects
E.P.Wheeler FRIBA and assistant architect, G.Weald FRIBA
Date Built
Opened 21 July 1937
Albert Embankment
The Vauxhall Society's website has an excellent description of this former fire brigade headquarters, " The large site is in two sections on either side of Lambeth High Street. The eight storey building on the Albert Embankment is built using Portland stone and light coloured brick. On the ground floor are both the Lambeth and the Lambeth River Fire Stations, together with a gym. For the first floor the architects designed living quarters and recreation rooms for on-duty fire crews together with a London-wide control room. The upper stories also contained the main administrative offices for the brigade and numerous flats for fire officers. Behind this building is a large drill yard complete with a 100ft drill tower with built-in hose drying facilities and a separate bandstand!  ....

....  Across Lambeth High Street is the workshop block (see below) which is built around a quadrangle. Here are garages and repair shops, stores, various workshops and a training school complete with kitchens and more living quarters. The site and the buildings cost just £390,000 which included two roof gardens."

At the corner of Black Prince Road and Lambeth High Street there is an extension added in the 1980s.


The building features a number of attractive examples of art deco decoration.

After the Fire Brigade moved out of this facility the plan was to sell it to the developer Native Lands.  This sale was conditional on Native Land acquiring planning permission to convert the Albert Embankment building into luxury flats and replace the ancillary buildings with blocks of new apartments.  However, local residents raised objections and in December of 2011 Lambeth's Planning Applications Committee rejected the proposal.  This decision was appealed and then in May of 2013 the SE1 website updated the story with an article entitled, "Planning inspector vetoes redevelopment of fire brigade HQ on Albert Embankment." which it goes on to explain that, "The decision, which is the result of a strong campaign by residents of the adjacent Whitgift Estate who feared their homes would be plunged into darkness, will be a bitter blow to the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority which stood to gain a capital receipt of nearly £42 million from the sale of the land."  So the future of this collection of buildings is uncertain.

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