1877 – Old Swan House, Chelsea, London

Architect: Richard Norman Shaw


In Old Swan House, Richard Shaw’s unusual design includes such English Baroque architectural elements as bay windows and dormers. The broad white cornice over the second floor divides the façade into two contrasting halves. The lower half with its rippling bay windows appears brittle and weightless. This is a paradoxical support for the more massive wall above. Here tall windows set up a strong vertical rhythm in contrast to the horizontal cornice. The complex façade is knit together by the dominating warm red brick, an element of the Gothic revival.