Monday 27 December 2010

Cumberland Hotel, Oxford Street W1

The massive Cumberland Hotel behind Marble Arch was built for J. Lyons in 1930 at the height of the Art Deco mania for everything Egyptian sparked off by the discovery of King Tut's tomb. Lyons's in-house architect, F.J. Wills, decorated the facade with giant Egyptian figures and created a very odd new order of columns with bulls' heads on the capitals.
A rather nice little detail is that the Egyptians have different expressions on their faces, one having a rather twinkly smile. You need binos or, in my case, a long lens to see that from street level, of course.

1 comment:

Hels said...

I think they are super... but I wonder what the Lyons Group's interest in Egypt was. Perhaps the Lyons' architect or sculptor made a unilateral decision to go with the most modern Deco taste.