- 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
The Piazza - West and East
The two spaces at either end of the central market buildings have very different characteristics. At the west St. Paul’s Church is the centrepiece of a largely unchanged formal composition. A sunny, popular space entirely suitable for public entertainment, eating and drinking outdoors (within the adopted guidelines) and the site of the annual Christmas tree.
At the eastern end the composition is unbalanced, still awaiting the proposed Royal Opera House developments on the north side of Russell Street. This space has been used for temporary events, such as the fairground rides and the video opera showings. It is hoped that the video wall arrangements can be purpose designed into the proposals for the Royal Opera House development, possibly centred across Russell Street (north to south). Provision for tables and chairs on the public highway should be planned, to match the existing Tuttons’ area. This may prevent any incremental cluttering of the proposed arcade walk with tables and chairs immediately adjacent to any new units.
St. Paul’s Church - Listed Grade I.
St. Paul’s Church was built for the Earl of Bedford in 1631-8, to the designs of Inigo Jones, as the focal point of the new Piazza; its Tuscan portico continues to dominate the western side of the Piazza, although its original flanking structures were destroyed, and a public lavatory now abuts on its southern wall. It is the only building by Jones to survive in Covent Garden, although much restored. It is built of brick with facings and ornaments of Portland stone, stucco and wood. Its Tuscan portico with a handsome stone doorcase beneath was intended as the main entrance from the Piazza, but during building the church was re-oriented with an entrance at the western, churchyard end. The building is rectangular, with simple arched windows running along the north and south sides and cuboid vestries projecting from the side walls at its western end. The interior was burnt in 1795 and restored by Thomas Hardwick; his timber side galleries were later removed but his altarpiece with flanking screens of columns survives in modified form. The interior was successively remodelled during the nineteenth century. The Church is flanked by Clutton’s symmetrical buildings of 34 Henrietta Street and 1 - 4 King Street. Lighting improvements should be considered for this whole composition (unbalanced by the approved scheme/or 1 - 4 King Street) with the church clock carefully picked out.
St. Paul’s Church Northem Gateway - Listed
Inigo Jones’ original plans placed the church at the centre of a symmetrical layout, comprising flanking walls, pierced by a pair of pedimented gateways in cut brickwork with stucco/cement facings giving access to the churchyard, with two pavilion-type houses as termini. None of these structures survives, but in 1993 the northern gateway was reconstructed in its original form, to a design by Donald Insall, and the southern gateway is a current Millennium project by the City of Westminster, This will include the adaptations to the public toilets and a small public landscaped area with benches and a sculpture. The gate has Tuscan pilasters with rusticated shafts placed centrally against the arch piers, to support an entablature and triangular pediment. These two gateways and the churchyard landscape areas behind should be carefully illuminated.
Russell Chambers: Tutton’s Restaurant
The elevation of this building follows the Bedford Estate style successfully used by Clutton at the western end of the Piazza, with arched ground floor openings, red brick, Portland stone and slate roofs. The ground floor shop blinds work well with the scale of the building and the restaurant fronts continue the quality of the Russell Street frontage. The two wall bracket highway lights are a model demonstration of positioning to respect the architectural treatment - at the midpoint of the rusticated stone pattern. Tables and chairs (following the adopted guidelines) on the highway are appropriate at this location.
The Flower Market - Listed Grade II
Part of the west end of the Flower Market occupies a portion of the site of Jones’ portico houses on the east of the Piazza known as Little Piazza. One face of the building’s western extension abuts the southside of the Piazza, standing on the site of three 17th century houses, Nos. 1-3 Tavistock Row. The Flower Market was constructed in 1871-2 to designs by William Rogers, to house the flower traders operating in Fowler’s Market Building, and was subsequently extended three times from 1884-7. It is a vigorous Victorian classical building of red brick with stone dressings, planned as two wide and lofty naves extending northwards between three aisles. The interior is an extensive structure of cast iron arcades with glazed clerestories, supporting slatted roofs and skylights. The Piazza facade of the original building follows the design of the main facades with an arcade of round arched openings at ground floor level; above them a pedimented attic rises in the centre with a large lunette window, expressing the eastern transept which crosses the two aisles. This building has been well restored and now houses the London Transport Museum (entrance South Side of Piazza) and the National Theatre Museum (entrance from Russell Street/Bow Street).