Looking up at the gallery or upper storey of the saloon

Gallery or upper storey of the saloon

Sydney Smirke and George Basevi

Interior decoration by Messrs Sang and Naundorff

1843-45

The old Conservative Club

St James's Street, London

David Watkin explains that the gallery "is lit by a domed skylight and is dramatically open to the saloon below through a large circular well surrounded by a balustrade." He adds that this "theatrically baroque spatial experience is in contrast to the neo-Renaissance decoration," and brings in here the lower saloon as well, for it is really impossible to describe the two separately. Wherever you stand, whether below or above, the effect is amazing.

Photograph and text 2008 by Jacqueline Banerjee

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