Unbuilt London

The London that might have been

Familiar as we are with London’s monuments, landmarks and historic buildings it’s easy to forget the many proposed, abandoned or rejected designs for a London that might have been.

This gallery illustrates a small selection of drawings and photographs of models of the many unrealised designs for London held by the RIBA Collections. These range from competition designs of iconic landmarks such as the Nelson monument to grand schemes that would have drastically altered the landscape of London such as Joseph Emberton’s high-rise development surrounding St Paul’s Cathedral.

Of particular note are some of the rather staid competition designs for RIBA’s headquarters at 66 Portland Place and the various entries for the controversial competition for the National Gallery Extension.

 

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Clothes lines, Glencaple, near DumfriesRIBA10714

 
37 Bidston Road, Oxton, Birkenhead, Merseyside: the dining roomRIBA3727

 
Alexander Fleming House, Elephant and Castle, Southwark, LondonRIBA2518-9


Alton East Estate, Roehampton, London: view of the staggered terrace of houses with twelve-storey point blocks in the backgroundRIBA34554

 
Alton West Estate, Roehampton, London: Lynn Chadwick's sculpture 'The Watchers' with the point blocks beyondRIBA59327

 
Alton West Estate, Roehampton, London: the staggered line of old people's cottagesRIBA4620


Battersea 'A' Power Station, London, by nightRIBA2478

 
Berthold Lubetkin in top hat beside caryatid at the entrance to Highpoint Two, North Hill, Highgate, LondonRIBA2902-26

 
Black & White Milk Bar, Gray's Inn Road, London, at nightRIBA2561-10


Breves Lalique Galleries, Bond Street, LondonRIBA5151

 
Christ Church, Spitalfields, London, seen from Brushfield StreetRIBA3722

 
Decimus BurtonRIBA3643-71


Design for a poster for the Central Liquor Control Board entitled 'Use and Beauty' to decorate a pub or canteen, possibly in the Carlisle areaRIBA4081

 
Design for a proposed new front for the North Briton public house, 10 New North Road, Hoxton, LondonRIBA21225

 
Design for a wallpaper entitled 'The Callum'RIBA4113


Design for Bromley Hall School for children with physical disabilities, Bromley Hall Road, Tower Hamlets, LondonRIBA20216

 
Design for Calverley Grange (now Pembury Grange), Sandown Park, Pembury, Kent: elevation, for Neville WardRIBA29448

 
Design for Frinton Park Estate, Frinton-on-Sea, EssexRIBA4022


Design for Gatwick Airport: ground floor plan of the terminal building known as 'The Beehive'RIBA36739

 
Design for the Brook Street Hill Garden Village, Brentwood, Essex, for Homesteads Ltd.: plan with perspective details showing examples of proposed housesRIBA36537

 
Design for the interior decoration of the Chapel of St Joseph, Oratory of St Philip Neri, Brompton Road, Kensington, LondonRIBA4033


Designs for Broadleys (now Windermere Motor Boat Club), Gillhead, near Cartmel Fell, Lake Windermere, Cumbria, for Arthur Currer Briggs: perspective of terrace front with inset floor plansRIBA3087-37

 
Dreamland, Margate, KentRIBA3309-51

 
Eames House, 206 Chautauqua Way, Pacific Palisades, Los AngelesRIBA3440-58


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