On one of our frequent joyful jaunts around the city, we stumbled across this intriguing series of stone carvings. The works decorate the otherwise prosaic offices of Diageo, at 8 Henrietta Place (just north of Bond St station). They’re the folk who look after some of our favourite brands – Baileys, Guinness, Smirnoff and the like. And we do like.
The 15 sculptures depict various stages in the history of architecture. Beginning on the west corner, the series moves from prehistoric cave, through stone shrine, ziggurat, pyramid (with incongruous classical doorway) and Greek temple. The progression continues with carvings of medieval buildings, Renaissance and neo-classical structures and mills from the industrial revolution.
The series concludes with an art-deco block, resembling Senate House and, finally, a modern tower with more than a passing likeness to 1 Canada Square.
But who carved them, and what is there significance? We can’t find anything on the web, and Pevsner is strangely silent. Any readers know the story behind these carvings?