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Decision Summary

This building has been assessed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest. The asset currently does not meet the criteria for listing. It is not listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended.

Name: Marks and Spencer Marble Arch Store (Orchard House)

Reference Number: 1479261

Location

458 Oxford Street, London, W1C 1AP

The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Greater London Authority
District: City of Westminster
District Type: London Borough
Parish: Non Civil Parish

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Decision Date: 23-Nov-2021

Description

Summary of Building

Former shop and offices, now a department store. Built in 1929 to 1930 to the design of the architectural practice Trehearne and Norman by the contractors Thomas and Edge Ltd. Later extensions added in the late C20, including a north extension of 1968 to 1970 to the design of the architects Lewis and Hickey.

Reasons for currently not Listing the Building

The Marks and Spencer Marble Arch store, originally built in 1929 to 1930 as Orchard House with two extensions added in the late C20, is not listed for the following principal reasons:

Degree of Architectural interest:

* the exterior of Orchard House (1929 to 1930) has seen a considerable loss of original fabric, including the entire ground floor with its original entrances and display windows, four first floor balconies, carved sculptures from Lewis Carroll’s children’s novels, and palmette decorations to the parapet; * the retail spaces of Orchard House (1929 to 1930) appear to have lost virtually all the original interiors; * whilst the exterior of Orchard House represents a well-considered and sensitive response to the adjacent Selfridges (Grade II*-listed), it is not regarded as innovative nor of sufficient architectural quality in its own right especially given the above losses; * the late C20 extensions are relatively utilitarian and of limited interest.

Degree of Historic interest:

* whilst of some interest for its association with Marks and Spencer, Orchard House was not purpose-built for the firm but rather a mixed-use speculative development that was only partially occupied by them until 1967 with their mid-C20 flagship West End store being The Pantheon, 169 to 173 Oxford Street.

Group value:

* although possessing some group value with the adjacent Selfridges (Grade II*-listed), this is insufficient to compensate for the above.

History

Orchard House was built in 1929 to 1930 to the design of the architectural practice Trehearne and Norman by the contractors Thomas and Edge Ltd. The site was purchased by J Lyons and Company, a British restaurant chain, hotel conglomerate and food manufacturer, and plans prepared for a speculative six-storey block of shops and offices in which the company would occupy the upper three floors. According to Saint (2020), the architects Trehearne and Norman opted for the orthodox stone-faced classicism common to major London buildings of this type and date, although there are some subtle variations in the design that have been recognised as Neo-Grec, such as the abstracted capitals of the stone piers at ground floor level. The Giant Order pilasters and oxidised panels beneath the windows of the upper floors appear to be a considered response to the adjacent Selfridges (Grade II*-listed). The firm Trehearne and Norman was formed by Alfred Trehearne (1874-1962) and Charles Norman (1884-1925) in 1906 and designed buildings on Kingsway, including Africa House (built 1921 to 1922, Grade II-listed) prior to the latter’s death in 1925, and an office and shop block on Regent Street (built in 1926 to 1927, Grade II-listed (including numbers 273, 275, 275A and 281 to 287)). In November 1930, Marks and Spencer took over most of the ground floor and basement of Orchard House, although the corner of Orchard Street was occupied by a branch of the National Provincial Bank. The shopfront of the new store was completed by Holttum and Green with large curved plate glass display windows on a granite plinth. The interior was furnished with polished mahogany counters and had walls adorned with fielded panels, pilasters, mouldings and cornices. Marble piers and ceiling beams enriched with mouldings, cornices and reel decoration concealed the steel frame beneath. In 1934 to 1938, a new flagship West End store, known as the Pantheon, was designed and built for Marks and Spencer at 169 to 171 Oxford Street (Grade II-listed).

Lyons and Co occupied the upper floors of Orchard House as their training centre until 1967 when Marks and Spencer took over the whole building. Major changes were made to the exterior at this time; the ground floor was entirely re-modelled and recessed to facilitate the widening of Orchard Street, with the original entrance and display windows removed. Four Portland stone balconies and carved sculptures of characters from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Alice through the Looking Glass were removed (apart from one sculpture) from the upper floors, together with the palmette decorations that adorned the parapet. In 1968 to 1970 a major extension was built to the design of the architects Lewis and Hickey. The store expanded westwards into 466 Oxford Street in 1979 and acquired the premises of the National Provincial Bank in 1994, exceeding the Pantheon branch in size.

Details

Former shop and offices, now a department store. Built in 1929 to 1930 to the design of the architectural practice Trehearne and Norman by the contractors Thomas and Edge Ltd. Later extensions added in the late C20, including a north extension of 1968 to 1970 to the design of the architects Lewis and Hickey.

MATERIALS: Orchard House is built of Portland stone ashlar on a steel frame with metal framed windows and panels with oxidised finishes. The north extension is clad in Portland stone on a steel frame with granite surrounds to the windows and the west extension is faced in red brick and tile on a steel frame.

PLAN: three separate buildings joined to form expansive open retail spaces occupying a basement and three lower floors with a café on the second floor. The upper floors are occupied by offices, meeting rooms and stores.

EXTERIORS: Orchard House has two essentially matching elevations to Oxford Street and Orchard Street and a canted entrance bay between them. The two elevations have a recessed ground floor fronted by square piers with late C20 display windows and chrome-framed glazed doorways behind, and then a Giant Order of pilasters to the next four storeys; Ionic pilasters at the centre and Doric at the ends. The first, second and third floor windows are separated by decorative oxidised panels and the elevations are topped by a heavy cornice and stone parapet containing a further attic storey of windows. Additionally, the second and third floor windows between the Doric pilasters are treated with aedicules, including ‘MS’ insignia stones added in about 1967 where there were formerly projecting balconies. The canted bay has a chrome-framed glazed entrance doorway, four recessed windows beneath the cornice, and a further window to the attic. Between the first and second floor windows is a carved animal head and a projecting St Michael clock; the latter added in around 1967.

Attached to the north of Orchard House is a 1968 to 1970 extension, which comprises a two-storey podium supporting a three-storey block, all with a steel frame clad in Portland stone with small square windows set in recessed granite surrounds. To the west of Orchard House is a late C20 six storey building faced in red brick and tile with ground floor shops and ribbon windows to the upper stories.

INTERIORS: open retail spaces occupy a basement and three lower floors with a café on the second floor. Photographs of the retail spaces show they contain modern counters, display cases, shelving, clothes stands and units, as well as false ceilings and modern light fixtures. These spaces appear to have lost virtually all the original interiors as shown in historic photographs. The internal structural elements such as steel beams and uprights are encased in columns and plasterwork, and there are modern escalators linking the retail floors. The upper floors are occupied by offices, meeting rooms and stores (no photographs were available of these spaces).

Selected Sources

Other
Archive photographs from Marks and Spencer Company Archive, accessed 19 October 2021 from https://marksintime.marksandspencer.com/home
Saint, A (ed), Survey of London Volume 53: Chapter 11 (2020). Available online at: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/architecture/research/survey-london/current-area-study-oxford-street

Map

National Grid Reference: TQ2815181110


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This copy shows the entry on 17-May-2022 at 02:54:02.