Michelin House, Brompton Road, Knightsbridge Building, Architect, London, Image

Michelin House London

Premises of The Conran Shop + Bibendum Restaurant, England

4 Jul 2009

Michelin House

Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, southwest London

date built: 1911

Address: 81 Fulham Road, London SW3 6RD, United Kingdom

Design: Francois Espinasse

Michelin House Michelin House London Michelin House London Michelin House Knightsbridge
photos © Nick Weall

Michelin House

Michelin Trey Company British HQ, Grade II listed

Its exuberant stylistic individualism has been variously described as an example of Art Nouveau, proto-Art-Deco, Secessionist Functionalism and geometrical Classicism. It has even been described as ‘the most completely French of any Edwardian building in London’! Designed by an employee of the company, probably under the guidance of Edouard and Andre Michelin, it owes more to the imagination, vivacity and outrageously irreverent flair for public relations of these two men than to any notion of the architectural taste of its time.
Source: Bibendum website

Michelin House Michelin House Michelin House Michelin Trey Company British HQ
photos © Nick Weall

Michelin House at 81 Fulham Road, Chelsea, London, was constructed as the first permanent UK headquarters and tyre depot for the Michelin Tyre Company Ltd. The building opened for business in 1911.

Designed by one of Michelin’s employees, François Espinasse, the building has three large stained-glass windows based on Michelin advertisements of the time, all featuring the Michelin Man “Bibendum”. Around the front of the original building at street level there are a number of decorative tiles showing famous racing cars of the time that used Michelin tyres. More tiles can be found inside the front of the building, which was originally a tyre-fitting bay for passing motorists. People walking into the reception area of the building are still greeted by a mosaic on the floor showing Bibendum holding aloft a glass of nuts, bolts and other hazards, proclaiming “Nunc Est Bibendum” (Latin for “Now is the time to drink”). The reception area also features more decorative tiles around its walls. Two glass cupolas, which look like piles of tyres, frame either side of the front of the building. The Michelin company’s close association with road maps and tourism is represented by a number of etchings of the streets of Paris on some of the first-floor windows.

Michelin moved out of the building in 1985, when it was purchased by the late publisher Paul Hamlyn and the restaurateur/retailer Sir Terence Conran, who shared a love for the building. They embarked on a major redevelopment that included the restoration of some the original features. The new development also featured offices for Hamlyn’s company Octopus Publishing, as well as Conran’s Bibendum Restaurant & Oyster Bar, and a Conran Shop. All three businesses opened in 1987.

Source: wikipedia website

Michelin House – redevelopment, Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, southwest London
Conran Roche

Michelin House Brompton Road Michelin House Brompton Road Michelin House Brompton Road Michelin House Brompton Road
photos © Nick Weall

Bibendum Restaurant; The Conran Shop; The Conran Oyster Bar; Paul Hamlyn Publishers

Bibendum Restaurant Bibendum Restaurant Bibendum Restaurant Bibendum Restaurant
photos © Adrian Welch

Location: 81 Fulham Road, London SW3 6RD

London, England, UK

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Michelin House redevelopment architects : Conran & Partners

Buildings close by to the Michelin House on Brompton Road:

Pelham Crescent, just to the northwest
Pelham Crescent
photo © Adrian Welch

Conran offices on Sloane Avenue, behind Michelin House
Conran offices Conran offices Sloane Avenue
photos © AW

Michelin House in London – Bibendum

Adjacent buildings to the east on Sloane Avenue – Gucci store on right
Gucci store Gucci store Sloane Avenue
photos © AW

Nell Gwynn House, Sloane Avenue
Nell Gwynn House
photo © Nick Weall

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Comments / photos for The Conran Shop Brompton Road page welcome