Description of Marconi House
Marconi House is a mixed-use building within the Strand Conservation area in London providing 86 magnificent luxury apartments and penthouses created within an imposing Grade II Listed facade.
A 5 Star, 168 bedroom hotel operated by Meliá will allow residents access to all facilities provided at an extra cost.
The original Gaiety Theatre was built in 1868 on the site of the former Strand Music Hall in Wellington Street with an additional entrance from the Strand. The new theatre was built between 1902-3 to the design of Ernst Runtz and George McLean Ford, specialists in theatre design, with assistance from Norman Shaw RA. It was the first building to be erected as part of the Aldwych development of 1900 and in many ways it was by far the most accomplished.
The Gaiety Restaurant, opened in 1904, occupied premises in the same block as the Theatre but fronting onto the Strand. Hotel or serviced apartments accommodation was also included on the upper floors of the building, attached to either the Restaurant or Short's Inn. The hotel use associated with Short's Inn continued until the 1950's when a Strand Hotel was listed at 333 Strand as well as Short's Public House.
In 1912 the Marconi Company acquired a new 99 year lease from the London County Council for the Gaiety Hotel and Restaurant building and converted it to headquarters for the Marconi Company and it became an important world famous location for the emerging technology of broadcasting.
In 1946, Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Company was taken over by English Electric and in 1955 they acquired the rest of the site including the part owned by Short's so that, for the first time, ownership of the whole site rested with a single party and enabled redevelopment to be carried out.
English Electric HouseIn 1955 English Electric held an architectural competition for the redevelopment of the site as offices including the demolition of the redundant Gaiety Theatre, which remained unused. The winning design was the one prepared by Mr Gordon Tait. The new building, opened in 1959-60 as English Electric House at a cost of £250,000.1970-1972 Citibank HouseIn 1970-72, Citibank acquired the lease of the building and carried out major refurbishment work in Marconi House including the introduction of steel structures at high level, infilling of the former restaurant gallery and support onto columns to the basement. The main corner entrance of the former English Electric building was altered and the tow allegorical bronze statues by Sir Charles Wheeler flanking the entrance were removed.
Planning permission and listed building consent was granted on 15 April 2005 for the demolition and redevelopment of the existing office buildings, behind the retained façade of the former Marconi House.