Baynard House, London

Architect: William Holford
Structural engineer: Ove Arup & Partners
Date Built
1972 - 1979
Queen Victoria Street
The "London1 - City of London" Pevsner Guide describes Baynard House as, " ... an acutely depressing L-shaped block ... extending s over the road tunnels of the diverted Upper Thames Street. ... Its massive projecting balconies might possibly approach monumentality, were they not clad in pre-cast aggregate panels."

The building gets its name from a castle built on this site beside the Thames by Ralph Baynard after the Norman invasion.  The castle was demolished in 1213 by King John.

A recess in the building is occupied by a raised "garden" that contains a sculpture by Richard Kindersley entitled "The Seven Ages of Man" (see below).  It comprises an aluminium totem pole featuring seven human heads looking in different directions. 

The plaque at the base contains this quotation from "As You Like It."

At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.

Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school.

And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow.

Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation Even in the canon's mouth.

And then the justice,

In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part.

The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound.

Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

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