Albert Hall Mansions

LondonRichard Norman Shaw

Albert Hall Mansions, directly adjacent to the Royal Albert Hall in the exclusive London neighbourhood Knightsbridge, consists of three blocks of luxury apartments. They were designed by architect Richard Norman Shaw (1831-1912), who received the commission in 1878, two years after he had been hired to draw new façades for a design by architects Driver and Rew.

At the time when the Albert Hall Mansions were designed and built (1876-1886), the English saw apartment buildings as housing for the poor. But the high density of this type of housing was a reason for speculative builders in the luxury sector to seek solutions that might appeal to the wealthy. Investors in such new buildings faced immense risks. So it should not come as a surprise that the development of Albert Hall Mansions was blighted by indecision, delays and, ultimately, a phased completion. The block documented here constitutes the first phase (completed in 1881) and is a great deal more complex than the two later blocks…