The architectural style that popularized during the reign of King Edward VII, the successor of Queen Victoria came to be known as the Edwardian style of architecture. Edwardian architecture is less ornate than the Victorian form, apart from its subset– Edwardian Baroque architecture. The return of the Liberals to power brought significant reforms and shifts in politics– The industrial working class increased in numbers and electricity became an easily available commodity during this time. As a result, people shifted to the modern style of housing. The Edwardian architecture was an outcome of this trend.

Connaught Apartments | Edwardian architecture

Connaught Apartments is an impressive Edwardian era apartment building erected in 1913, the Connaught Apartments comprises typical Edwardian style cubic apartment blocks that are dense and rectangular. Apartment blocks were ground-breaking development of residential architecture during the Edwardian era and suited those who could not afford or did not want a giant single-family house. Three and four-story apartment blocks, including the Connaught Apartments, were built to accommodate the city’s growing workforce as they offered high-capacity residences close to the downtown core. Connaught Apartments, an elegant example of a Classical Revival-style apartment building was designed by architects, Harrison and Pouton. Its pressed red brick exterior with tooled red mortar reflects the subtle, unadorned aesthetic of Edwardian architecture, complementing the ornate and gaudy architectural detailing of the earlier Victorian period. Connaught Apartments’ ornamentation is limited to the building’s front façade and is marked by its corbelled pressed metal cornice, plain sills, lintels, and numerous single assembly windows on the side and rear façades provide abundant natural lighting. The scale and quality of building materials used in this project reflect the optimism and economic stability of the Edwardian times, before the outbreak of the First World War.

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Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London

MANDARIN ORIENTAL HYDE PARK is a posh five-star hotel complex, located in central London’s residential and retail district, Knightsbridge. The hotel complex is owned and managed by the well-known Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. MANDARIN ORIENTAL HYDE PARK is designed in historic Edwardian architecture, the hotel building first opened its doors to the public in the year 1902 as the Hyde Park Hotel. In 1996, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group purchased the property, completely renovated the hotel, and consequently re-opened it later in May 2000.

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Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London
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Interiors of the Building
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Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

The Old Granary, Cambridge | Edwardian architecture

Another Cambridge-based building featuring Edwardian architecture is The Old Granary, a prominent landmark. The building has its main entrance on Silver Street and an internal entrance from the College garden. Built in the early nineteenth century, The Old Granary has been remodeled from its beginnings as a functional granary, to residential accommodation at the end of the century. The building was also part of the Darwin residence from the times of Professor Sir George Darwin. The superb views of the Mill Pond from its bedrooms and interiors that retain many of the original features aptly matches the building’s beautiful façade. 

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The Old Granary, Cambridge
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The Old Granary Overlooking the Mill Pond

City Hall, Capetown

Cape Town City Hall is a classic example of Edwardian architecture situated in the Cape Town city center, it was built in 1905. The Cape Town City Hall was constructed using honey-colored limestone imported from Bath in England. The City Hall building was designed as the result of a public competition, by its winning architects, Messrs Harry, Austin Reid, and Frederick George Green, and the contractors Messrs T. Howard and F. G. Scott. Much of the construction materials used, including the fixtures and fittings was imported from Europe.

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Cape Town City Hall
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The Auditorium
A Panoramic View of the City Hall

Hanover Building | Edwardian architecture

The Hanover Building was built in 1905 and was first opened in 1907. Hanover comprises of its two original structures, the E Block, a Co-operative Wholesale Society drapery warehouse built-in 1904, and Hanover, added in the year 1909 to put together the 100,000 square feet of office space and additional warehouse facility. It was designed by F. E. L. Harris, a Co-operative Wholesale Society architect, and was constructed using the newest construction techniques of its time. More than a million bricks were used for the construction taking the overall construction cost to a whopping £50,000 (equivalent to approximately £5,328,000 today). Hanover is a great example of Edwardian Baroque architecture, featuring a blend of red brick, polished granite, and beautiful sandstone dressings. Local materials were used wherever possible, including the Baxenden bricks, stone from Darley Dale, and Aberdeen-sourced granite. 

Hanover Building
The Exterior Facade of the Hanover Building
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Hanover with the Hotel Indigo building

Sowmya is an architectural journalist and writer. In this column, Sowmya takes you through stories on eco-architecture, biophilic design, and green buildings from across the globe.