Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,142 pages of information and 233,681 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Oriel Chambers

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JD Oriel03.jpg
JD Oriel01.jpg
Closer view showing fine detailing

14-16 Water Street, Liverpool

Constructed 1864-5.

A Grade I listed building, said to be the first office building in the world to make extensive use of glazed curtain wall construction, having an extensively glazed façade supported from an iron frame. The building was extended in the mid 20th century. Designed by Peter Ellis (1805-84) for the Reverend Thomas Anderson. Believed to have influenced the design of tall office buildings, particularly in America through the work of Chicago architects John Wellborn Root and Daniel Hudson Burnham. Root had spent some time studying in Liverpool (1864-67).[1]

Ignacio Fernández Solla has provided excellent photos and descriptions of the building, including the interior and the little known courtyard-facing walls, optimised for daylight admission[2]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] 'Engineering Timelines' website, Oriel Chambers webpage: good summary of the design and history
  2. [2] 'Is Oriel Chambers the first curtain wall ever?' - blog of Ignacio Fernández Solla