The cat house
This is another of those buildings I notice when I’m on the top deck of a London double-decker and make a note to myself to explore later. I call this building the Egyptian cat house, but I’ve done a bit of research and found out it’s actually called the Greater London House.
I just love the boldness of the art deco design. It’s quite an imposing building and dominates Hampstead Road (in a good way) especially since there a quite a few dilapidated buildings just a few meters away.
Greater London House history
Greater London House used to be Carerras Cigarette Factory and was built 1926-28 by the Carerras Tobacco Company. The architects were M.E and O.H Collins and A.G Porri. The design was greatly influenced by the contemporary fashion for Egyptian-style buildings and decorative arts and the entrance to the building has two black cats based on the Statue of Bastet
In 1960-62 it was converted into offices and renamed Greater London House. The building is now occupied by the online retailer ASOS
I wish I could go inside and explore this building properly because I am sure it must have some interesting interiors if the outside is anything to go by, but unfortunately the building is not open to the public. But this is one of the more interesting and unusual buildings in London and if you’re in the neighbourhood it’s worth a look.
◊All of these images are from Wikipedia. To be honest I went to the building intending to take loads of photographs today but felt too intimidated and self conscious (not sure why, but there it is). I need to be more confident in future
Nearest tube station: Mornington Crescent
Nearby: Camden Market (promise I’ll do a Camden Market blog soon!)