Riverside Building, County Hall,
Belvedere Road, London SE1 7PB
The history of
London County Hall is a grand Edwardian Baroque style building designed by Ralph Knott. The main construction began in 1911, and although wartime caused a hiatus in the building's development, County Hall was officially opened by King George V in 1922 ahead of its initial completion in 1939, with further portions being added over the following decades.
Positioned on the south bank of the River Thames, County Hall overlooks significant landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Throughout its history as an administrative office, the building was regarded not only as a tangible symbol of the centre of governance, but also an architectural rival to other significant Thames-side locations such as Somerset House and the Palace of Westminster.
For sixty-four years, County Hall served as the headquarters for the metropolitan government of London. Its interior was crafted from the finest materials in order to uphold an unwavering sense of decorum while maintaining a design that would ensure swift and efficient administration. However, in 1986, the abolition of the Greater London Council left the magnificent building redundant. Over the following years, County Hall’s purpose was changed and put up for debate many times, its proud facade and well-crafted layout proving to be a valuable asset across a range of uses.
In 1992, the building was finally acquired by new investors and the site underwent further redevelopments, with construction of the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge hotel reaching completion in 2010 among other changes to the expansive venue. County Hall is now home to a number of specialist restaurants, event spaces and highly popular family attractions.