The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

War memorials

London: Freemasons’ Hall

Status: Listed Grade II*
Architect: HV Ashley & Winton Newman
Location: Camden, London

This massive building in a stripped classical style was built as the Masonic Peace Memorial Building as a memorial to the 3,225 Freemasons killed on active duty in WWI. The building is the central headquarters of English Freemasonry (1927-33). The architect’s ingenious fitting of the plan to the irregular polygonal site won them the commission after a competition. The building has long facades, with slightly projecting
 entrance bays, given emphasis by string courses and a heavy 
cornice above the first floor. There are two attics stepped above, culminating across the west angle in the corner tower, which 
echoes the form of the Temple entrance beneath, flanked by
 two giant fluted columns in antis. This defines the diagonal
 axis along which the Temple itself lies, as well as its 
associated processional access route. Inside the principal halls, meeting rooms and staircases are all marble lined, richly detailed but austere neo-Grecian in pattern.

Jon Wright & Joanna Moore

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