Admiralty Arch is a well known landmark found in London, England. It is a unique building that includes archways that provide vehicle and pedestrian traffic between Trafalgar Square and The Mall. It was once the home of government offices, but in 2012 the lease was transferred to a property developer who intends to redevelop the building into a luxury hotel. The building also has ceremonial significance and is often used in processions for royal weddings, coronations and funerals. It was also used for the procession at the end of the Olympic Games in 2012. The building is of significant historical value and is a Grade I listed building. Let’s find out who designed and built this grand arch.
Who designed and built Admiralty Arch?
The building was commissioned by King Edward VII as a monument to the memory of his mother Queen Victoria. Unfortunately, King Edward didn’t live to see the completion. It was designed by English architect Sir Aston Webb and the Navigation and Gunnery sculptures were created by English sculptor Sir Thomas Brock. The building was constructed by John Mowlem & Co and it was completed in 1912. It links to the Old Admiralty building and that is why it is called the Admiralty Arch.
Did you know?
On the inner wall of the northern arch there is a sculpture of a human nose. It was created by artist Rick Buckley in 1997 as a protest against “Big Brother” society. It was originally thought to be a tribute to the Duke of Wellington, who was well known for having a large nose!
The Latin inscription on the building means “In the tenth year of King Edward VII, to Queen Victoria, from most grateful citizens, 1910.”
Sir Thomas Brock also sculpted a Imperial Memorial to Queen Victoria in front of Buckingham Palace. Legend has it that George V was so impressed with the statue that he asked for a sword to knight Brock on the spot!