The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings


Just a trifle dissipated and naughty, but not sufficiently so to be vulgar….

Just back from a very interesting trip to Dublin, where I was asked to speak at the Royal Hibernian Academy, alongside artist Gavin Murphy whose film Something new under the sun is currently showing there.    Described as “an attempted portrait of the demolished IMCO building [in suburban Dublin], and the work of its chief designer, Oliver P. Bernard”, the film mixes footage filmed in the brand new building opposite the site of IMCO together with shots of a researcher contemplating archive sources.  (see here , more on this in a future Magazine, and we’ll look into hosting the film in London at some stage).   IMCO stands for “The Invisible Mending Company”, which was then moving into dry cleaning, initially running a large  central cleaning and dying plant in the building, to which Bernard added  a landmark Art Deco concrete and glass tower in 1939.

Bernard is best known here as  the architect of the Strand Palace Hotel (whose salvaged lobby featured in the V&A Art Deco exhibition) and of the interiors recently refurbished at the Regent’s Palace Hotel (good 1930s pictures here on the website of the new restaurant now in residence, I love the fact that they quote the original article in Building magazine:  it described the venue as “just a trifle dissipated and naughty, but not sufficiently so to be vulgar“. )    He survived the sinking of the Lusitania, and was the father of the Jeffrey Bernard who was Unwell.  

(top two images from the film, bottom two of the Regent’s Palace Hotel) 





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