- Background & Introduction
- Buildings - Facade
- King Street - South
- King Street - North East
- King Street - North West
- Henrietta Street - South
- Henrietta Street - North
- Market Building - West and East
- Market Building - North and South
- The Piazza - West and East
- The Piazza - North
- The Piazza - South
- South Elevation/ Russell Street
- East Elevation to James Street/East Piazza
- Russell Street/Part Bow Street Elevation
- Russell Street - North and South
- Southampton Street - West
- Southampton Street - East
- James Street - West
- James Street - East
- Space between buildings
- Management & Implementation
King Street - North West
A number of the houses built in King Street in the eighteenth century were designed by leading architects - the most significant structure in the street is No. 43, the baroque town house designed by Thomas Archer in 1716 for the Earl of Orford, which has survived alterations and restorations to present a reasonably intact facade. (See North Side of Piazza sheet for further details of no. 43). In 1859 -61 the construction of Garrick Street opened a communication with Cranborne Street and the West End.
26 King Street
Currently painted pale blue and white, the stucco of this facade would look better if painted stone colour or traditional cream. The modern hanging sign is a brave effort but the small scale and lack of formal geometry negates the intended effect A bolder statement would be preferable.
27-28 King Street: Moss Bros
This graphically demonstrates how the impact of a listed building can be affected by inappropriate painting. The cream stucco of the upper elevation is fine but nearly every other detail could be improved. The great stucco cartouche with the arms of the former Westminster Fire Office is the most striking piece of heraldic display in Covent Garden, greater even than the Duke of Bedford’s arms on the Market Building. Their impact is spoilt as a result of the incorrect colouring. The pale bleu celeste of the background is only used in heraldry by the RAF and the Westminster Portcullis should, of course, be gilded not painted black. The College of Arms could advise on the correct colours, and the current solecism should be put right when the building is next re-painted. The recent white paint of the shop front and fairground picking out of the iron balcony balustrade also undermines the impact of a fine piece of architectural design, as can be seen by checking the present appearance against the photographs taken ten years ago. The whole architectural framework, including the balcony, should be painted the same strong colour. (See Chart).
29-30 King Street
The painting of the stucco in stone and white is appropriate. The architectural frontage of the ground floor would look better if it were all picked out in stronger colours rather than the blue pilasters silhouetted against a white ground. Logically, if it is devised to create a two-tone effect, the background should be darker than the architectural elements : the Corinthian pilasters and entablature. The navy blue is in itself a good colour choice. The arrangement of glazing bars in the ground floor, former shop windows is incorrect. The small panes create a Georgian effect and clash with the placing of the dividing elements in the arched tympana at the top. If these windows were to be redesigned they should have moulded mullions lining up with those above the transom and no other horizontal members. The front door would also be better painted to match the other joinery, rather than varnished. The pretty iron balconies at first floor level were intended for flower pots and these could be reinstated if so
31 -32 King Street
This well-restored frontage is let down by the prominent sub-fascias in the top of the former shop windows. It may be that these are structurally necessary, but their impact could be improved by darker painting or even the addition of well-chosen classic lettering, to serve a purpose.
33 King Street: Plunimers
The shop front has been well-restored and the gold-lettered sign is nicely designed and symmetrically placed.
34 King Street: Designs Direct
The lettered sign on the shop front is symmetrically placed and of good classic type. The joinery of the shopfront could be painted in stronger colours. The iron guards in front of the first floor windows were intended for flower pots or boxes, and these could be reinstated.