Albert Randall Wells (1877–1942)

From Historic England entry (see image):

“1929, by A Randall Wells. Portland stone, strikingly original design, double-height street front concave with projecting semi-circular domed entrance porch with round- headed doorway. Round-headed window to left and right. “Lloyds Bank” in bold sans serif applied metal lettering above porch. Crowning cornice, Banking hall with hemispherical domed ceiling, circular rooflights.”

From Wikipedia:

“Albert Randall Wells (1877–1942) was an English Arts and Crafts architect, craftsman and inventor…

In parallel to collaborative projects with other architects, he developed an independent practice. His own Church of St Edward the Confessor, Kempley, Gloucestershire, (1903–04), for Lord Beauchamp, has similarities to both All Saints, Brockhampton and St Andrew’s, Roker, which it pre-dates. St Edward’s, described by Betjeman as “a mini-cathedral of the Arts and Crafts movement”, was again built from local materials by local labour under his direction. The rood screen, carved by a man said to have been the last ship’s figurehead carver in London, was painted by Wells and his brother Linley. All these churches made an early use of concrete…

Wells, together with his client Major Noble’s wife Molly (née Mary Ethel Waters), set up a craft workshop at 94 Horseferry Road, London called St Veronica’s, specialising in interior design, bookbinding, calligraphy and other crafts. Building work at Besford was halted in 1912 when the Nobles separated. They were divorced in 1916, and Wells and (by then) Lady Noble married in 1917. Besford Court, the last great, gothic English country house, was never occupied. It was sold, incomplete, to a school, in 1917 and in 2001 was converted into eight houses as part of a larger housing development…

Wells’ subsequent career was undermined both by the increasingly unaffordable ethos of the Arts and Crafts movement after 1918, but probably also because of his perceived role in the failure of the Nobles’ marriage…

In the 1930s, he designed the ‘Galleon Wing’ extension to Said House, Chiswick Mall for Sir Nigel Playfair incorporating a huge curved plate-glass window for the first floor Drawing Room (the location for Series One of the BBC reality programme The Apprentice) and, presumably through his step-daughter Veronica Pease’s father-in-law Lord Gainford, a cousin of Beaumont Pease and first chairman of the BBC, Studio 3A at Broadcasting House. For competition entries and other connections of his wife including Lord Strathcona and Sir Evelyn Wrench, Wells submitted some very advanced designs ahead of contemporary modernism for a series of London sites through the 1920s and 30s, none of which was built. Beaumont Pease, as chairman of Lloyds Bank, also commissioned Wells for the bank’s branch at Teddington, Middlesex…”

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