Bedford Square Buildings: Architecture

Bedford Square Bloomsbury, Georgian Architecture London, Historic English Buildings Photos

Bedford Square, Bloomsbury

Georgian Architecture, London: 18th Century Buildings in the English Capital

post updated 18 June 2021 ; 7 Nov 2012

Bedford Square London

Bedford Square
Dates built: 1775-83

One of the best preserved set pieces of Georgian architecture in London

Bedford Square Buildings Bloomsbury London
photo © Adrian Welch

It takes its name from the main title of the Russell family, the Dukes of Bedford, who were the main landlords in Bloomsbury

The central garden is private, typical for London

Most of the buildings at Bedford Square are faced with London stock brick, type of handmade brick which was used for the majority of building work in London and Southeast England until the growth in the use of machine-made bricks in the early 20th century. Its distinctive yellow colour and soft appearance come from the yellow local clay from which the bricks were made. London Stocks are still made in comparatively small quantities in traditional brickworks, mainly in Kent and Sussex. Most are now discoloured grey/brown by pollution.

AA Bedford Square
photo © Adrian Welch

One of the key architectural aspects of this formal landscaped space is the AA on the west side:

Architectural Association – AA, 36 Bedford Square entry, incl 32-39, ie 7 buildings in a line.

– oldest independent school in the UK
– one of the most prestigious and competitive schools of architecture in the world
– The Architectural Association founded in 1847
– In 1917, it moved to its current premises in this square
– former students – Hadid, Holl, Chipperfield, Hopkins, Grimshaw, Alsop, Pawson
– 68,000 sqft campus behind the frontages

Also visible (if you are in the south west corner of the square) is the wonderful Imagination Building by architect Ron Herron, one block to the north on Store Street, next to the Building Centre.

AA School Bedford Square Bedford Square
photos © Adrian Welch

Location: Bloomsbury district, Borough of Camden, London, England, UK

London Buildings

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London Architecture Links – chronological list

London Architecture Tours by e-architect

London Architects Offices

AA Summer Pavilion in Bedford Square
Driftwood Pavilion
image from AA

London Architects

London Architecture : news + key projects

Bedford Square Buildings – Context

Key Buildings close by include:

British Museum
Date built: 1831
Design:Sir Robert Smirke
British Museum Building
photo © Adrian Welch
British Museum Building

Great Court
Date built: 2001
Design: Foster + Partners
This is one of the best new architectural interventions in the area, well worth a visit, easily located on axis beyond the neoclassical frontage of the BM.

Central St Giles
Date built: 2010
Design: Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Central Saint Giles
photo © Nick Weall
Central Saint Giles

Congress House
Date built: 1958
Design: David du Roi Aberdeen
TUC Building TUC London headquarters building
photos © Adrian Welch

Historic Architecture

English Architects

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