77 Gracechurch Street

Narrow streets of Central London shelter many small passages, shortcuts and secret alleys, winding through the courtyards and gates. Newer buildings built on such spots are planned to leave those urban pores intact. The trimmed corner of this building opens to a street alcove, leading into one of the passages, revealing a modern oriel with bowed glass windows.

This, for the neighborhood, relatively small building is an example of a successful architectural interpolation. Following the height articulation of the older buildings as well as the tone and the texture, it makes a smooth blend with the Gracechurch Street front. It is brutal in material treatment and shows signs of Bauhaus curvaceous forms. But bulky concrete capitals, dormers and friezes, as well as an eclectic combination of different styles, outline it as a sophisticated postmodern architectural piece. The back facade of the building, opening to the Lime Street passage changes the appearance, conforming to the facades of the historic Victorian buildings, clad in brick with solid white facade partitions.

 

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