100 Victoria Embankment

I’ve cycled past this wonderful building many times and wondered what was there. Open House weekend 2008 provided the answer, after a fashion: it’s the headquarters of Unilever, makers of hundreds of household products including soap powder, washing up liquid, dishwasher tablets etc. And I guess they also do vast amounts of other stuff in the global chemicals industry, judging by their corporate structure (see below).

Slightly disappointingly, it turns out the classical front of the building is just a facade: behind it everything’s been reconstructed as a modern block. It’s certainly stunning…but it’s nevertheless still the usual atrium, glass lifts, corporate furniture, hot-desking and all the rest. Still, get over that and it’s a joy…and not everywhere has a garden on the roof!


100 Victoria Embankment


The traditional Entrance Hall


Behind this, it’s all modern corporate…


…yawn, yawn…nothing is actually made here…


On the roof there’s a brilliant garden…


…which produces unexpected views of St Paul’s


…the rest of the views are, of course, terrific