The Economist Buildings

Alison and Peter Smithson, London, 1964


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View of tower showing vertical stone ribs 

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  • View of tower showing vertical stone ribs    
  • The view up Ryder Street with the tower block rising behind    
  • Boodle    
  • Tower from east Ryder Street    
  • View from Bury Street showing an access to plaza    
  • Looking down on the roof of the St. James    
  • Approach to the piazza from St. James    
  • View of coutyard and pillar detail    
  • Irregular piazza space enclosed by the old (Boodle    
  • Looking across the piazza from the ground-floor colonnade of the tower block    
  • T shaped columns with continuing aluminium trim and portland stone rib facing    
  • The raised banking hall on the St. James Street front    
  • Staircase and balustrade on the Ryder Street elevation    
  • Detail of balustrade    
  • Escalator in banking hall sector    
  • Detail of the simple geometry  of bank fittings    
  • Site plan    
  • Sub plaza level plan    
  • Typical floor plan at plaza level    
  • Bank building floor one plan    
  • Bank building floor three plan    
  • Basement plan    
  • Boodles club floor one plan    
  • Boodles club floor two plan    
  • Residential building floors four to seven plan    
  • Economist tower floors nine to thirteen plan    
  • Economist tower floor fourteen plan    
  • Residential building floors one to three plan    
  • Section through office and residential block    
  • Sketch of building elements    
  • Different ways a high building can be sited    
  • View from St. James street    
  • View from Marlborough Gate    
  • View from St. James Park    
  • The raised piazza where the relationships of all the members exist in calm communication    
  • The tall windows of the banking hall reflect the prevailing scale of the street    

Grouping of three towers of varying heights arranged around a raised public plaza. Home to The Economist magazine

The main fifteen-storey tower is set back from St. James Street and complimented by a four-storey bank and an eight storey residential block. The bank respects the lines of the existing buildings on St. James Street.

The plaza is raised about one storey and accessed by an integrated staircase and ramp from the street level.

Each building is concrete framed, expressed with bold uprights running from the top of the buildings to meet the floor. The ground level is recessed occasionally and canted at the corners.

The Econimist Building’s Portland stone facades, grey colours, splayed corners and projecting ribs demonstrate the traits of the International Style.

The building was granted Grade II listed status in 1988.


  • Begun: Sep 1962
  • Completed: Nov 1964
  • Floor area: 12,396m2
  • Sector: Office
  • Total cost: £979,027
  • Tender date: Jul 1962
  • Procurement: Negotiated - price variations
  • Address: 25 St. James's Street, City of Westminster, London, SW1A 1HJ, United Kingdom

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