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Home House

October 2009

View to Home House from Gloucester Place.

12. January 2014

Home House, ornament on Portman Square side facade.

12. January 2014

Home House

20-21 Portman Square, London W1H 6LW
18th century
James Wyatt

Description of Home House

Home House represents a truly unique experience in the concept of private members clubs.

Located across three Georgian town houses at 19, 20 and 21 Portman Square, Home House Private Member's Club offers its affiliates the dramatic fusion of the old and the new. Designed by James Wyatt in 1773 with Robert Adam interiors, the elegance and grandeur of the Club is perfectly juxtaposed with cutting-edge minimalist interiors at ‘21' with an edgy bar and reception area, designed by internationally renowned architect, Zaha Hadid and finished in sumptuous detail by the celebrated Candy & Candy team.

In 1773, George III's architect, James Wyatt, was commissioned by Elizabeth, Countess of Home, to build a sophisticated ‘Pavilion' designed purely for enjoyment and entertainment at Nº 20 Portman Square. The notorious Countess, aptly known as ‘The Queen of Hell', was in her late 60's, twice widowed, childless and rich. She had been born in Jamaica, married the son of the Governor of Jamaica and inherited a large fortune when he died. She came to England and married William, 8th Earl of Home in 1742, who deserted her shortly thereafter.

No.21 Portman Square began in 1772 to the designs of James Wyatt; No 21 formed part of the original north side of Portman Square. Leases were signed & work then began for different owners & continued at various paces for the next 6 years. The property was finally taken by William Lock who had previously occupied No 41 on the south side of the Square, a house designed by James Adam (younger brother of Robert). This led to the incorrect assumption that the Adam brothers designed No 21. Wyatt was described as being ‘dilatory' (tardy) due to taking on too many projects. This led to the Countess of Home sacking him and taking on Robert Adam. Lock kept Wyatt on, which was possibly the reason that No 21, although smaller than No 20, took 2 years longer to complete!

William Lock was an art patron who received a generous inheritance from his father (he also had a country house; Norbury Park in Surrey). The interior of No 21 is likely to have been designed to display his art collections. Lock ceased living at No 21 in 1781. It was then occupied by various people with George Hanbury (1865 ~ 1892) making some major alterations including the staircase with ‘GH' monogram & moving the entrance to Gloucester Place.


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