1 Poultry, London

James Stirling & Michael Wilford
Date Built
Junction of Queen Victoria Street and Poultry
1 Poultry is a postmodern office building clad in pink and yellow limestone that has the appearance of a ship gone aground in the heart of the City.  Edward Jones and Christopher Woodward describe 1 Poultry, in their book "A Guide to the Architecture of London", as presenting a, "... 'prow' to the important road junction facing the Bank of England."  They add that, "Its plan, though, is far from solid, and contains a deep open courtyard, now hexagonal, now circular, which provides a short-cut for pedestrians and another entrance to Bank Underground Station."

Apparently this triangular plot of land was the centre of controversy about the nature of the building to be erected there.  There was a plan for a office tower by Mies Van de Rhoe but I gather that the opposition to that plan won out.  The Pevsner Guide to the City describes Stirling's design as, "... hard-edged and strongly articulated ..."  It goes on to say that, " ... its intelligent expression of interior volumes undoubtable elevates the design above the commercial hoarde."

A restaurant called Coq D'argent is located at the top of the building with a roof garden terrace offering views of the City.

Four terracotta panels have been placed above the entrance on the Poultry side of the building (see below).

 These were apparently rescued from a building that once stood on this site and reused.  The panels were created by the sculptor Joseph Kremer, who was born in France but moved to England in 1858 working for a while as a modeller in Stoke for a local pottery, perhaps Spode.  He later moved to London where he died in 1878.  These panels depict processions that once passed by this spot. Working from left to right they show:

 King Edward VI

Queen Elizabeth I

King Charles II

  ... and Queen Victoria.


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