Book Butler at The Athenaeum
We’ve partnered with Pan Macmillan to give guests of The Athenaeum exclusive access to the latest books. Here’s what to expect from our Book Butler this June.
5th June 2019
This Neoclassical building on the Strand exudes classical grandeur overlooking the River Thames. The building was designed by Sir William Chambers in 1776, who was a Scottish-Swedish London-based architect and a founding member of the Royal Academy of Arts nearby. The grand building was the first of its kind in London, constructed because it was felt London had no great public buildings, which was thought to be unhelpful for national pride.
This building sandwiched between St James’s Park and St James’s Palace is a mansion that is now owned by Earl Spencer, the British nobleman and younger brother of Diana, Princess of Wales. The mansion has been owned by the Spencer family since its construction in 1756. The home was designed by the architect William Kent, who was also a landscape architect and furniture designer, responsible for introducing the Palladian style of architecture to England. Spencer House is now a Grade I listed building.
This 33-storey tower is a favourite among architecture fans who enjoy witnessing the style of the 1960s. Centre Point was constructed in the early 1960s and was one of London’s first skyscrapers, at 117 metres tall. Other buildings have now vastly overtaken Centre Point, with The Shard now taking on the title of tallest skyscraper in Europe thanks to its 310 metre height! Designed by the architect George Marsh, Centre Point was made of crushed concrete using Portland Stone from Dorset. The building has been described as being “coarse in the extreme” by architecture critic Nikolaus Pevsner, but is nowadays a Grade II listed building.
This site has been a Masonic meeting place since 1775, with the current building constructed in an Art Deco style. Touchingly, the design of the building was created by the architects Henry Victor Ashley and F. Winton Newman as a memorial to more than 3,000 Freemasons who died during World War I. The Grand Temple is of particular interest to architecture and design fans, as it has a mosaic depicting Masonic rituals. The building is Grade II listed, both inside and out.
This private members club (and our namesake!) is a private members’ club for those who have attained distinction in various academic fields. The club dates back to 1824, housed in an enchanting clubhouse built in the Neoclassical style. It was designed by Decimus Burton, one of the most notable English architects of the 19th century, known in particular for Roman revival, Greek revival, Georgian and Regency styles. His architectural design of the Athenaeum Club features a statue of the classical goddess of wisdom, Athena, after whom the club is named.
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