© Mr David March
ST OLAF HOUSE, TOOLEY STREET (north side)
BERMONDSEY, SOUTHWARK, GREATER LONDON
Mr David March
28 September 2001
13 May 1971
Date of last amendment:
13 May 1971
The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.
TQ3280SE TOOLEY STREET
636-1/17/789 (North side)
13/05/71 St Olaf House
Hay's Wharf head offices. 1931. By HS Goodhart-Rendel. Steel
frame with Portland stone cladding and dark, polished granite
plinth; roof concealed behind parapet.
STYLE: Continental Modern.
PLAN: T-plan with long front to river, exposed steel
stanchions support ground-floor which is open except for
central entrance hall block at T crossing, and 2 smaller
blocks either side of Street entrance way.
EXTERIOR: Tooley Street front of 6 storeys with a wide central
bay and a narrower bay at either side. Wide entrance way to
ground-floor with rounded returns, each bearing a large,
glazed, bronze light fitment; and above entrance in tall, gilt
letters ST OLAF HOUSE now depicted in place of former name.
Angles to returns of outer bays are rounded on all floors
except on ground floor, where they are square, the square
angle fading into the round at a point in the middle of the
1st floor. On the left angle, immediately above this point, an
outline figure of St Olaf by Frank Dobson is drawn in black
and gold mosaic with inscription: ST OLAF, KING OF NORWAY.
Right bay has square doorway on ground floor with deep reveal
and architrave of polished granite inscribed: ST OLAF HOUSE.
Later double doors are bronze.
Continuous glazing across centre bay on floors 1 to 4, each
glazed row projecting as a shallow oriel. 5th floor has 5
square windows in moulded architraves and a lozenge-shaped,
subsidiary window in similar architrave at either side of
central window. Left bay has 3 narrow lights on floors 1 to 4,
with 5th floor blank. Right bay has similar narrow windows on
floors 1 to 4, but stepped up towards the centre indicating a
staircase inside. 5th floor also blank. Gilt steel glazing
bars to all windows.
River frontage with canted angles has 7 bays of faceted
windows with metal glazing bars. Contrasting with the
functional emphasis of this elevation with its plain
horizontals of glass and Portland stone, is a large relief
panel by Frank Dobson of gilded metal and terracotta with
black granite incised edge, surrounding the main rooms which
have taller windows and balconies with gilded metal rails.
INTERIOR: retains original entrance hall with terrazzo floor
and alternate light and dark horizontal banding. Other
original features include staircase with distinctive metal
balustrading, lifts, landings and light fittings. The 2 main
directors' rooms, board room with common room beneath,
occupying 3 floors of the river frontage, are well preserved.
Offices now refurbished, and additional floors in roof.
Built on the site of Flitcroft's St Olaf's Church. The
building shows Swedish sources and is an important landmark in
the introduction of the Continental Modern style into England
in the 'thirties.