“50 Glebe Place (seen in distance above) is a large terraced house on Glebe Place in the Chelsea district of London SW3. It was built between 1985-87 for the advertiser Frank Lowe. Ed Glinert, in The London Compendium, described it as a folly.
The London: North West edition of the Pevsner Architectural Guides describes the property as featuring a “tall eclectic entrance tower”. The building is of three storeys, the topmost being inside the roof space, with a roof garden as well. The tower is of four storeys with windows at each level and a weather vane at the top of a pitched roof. The building is notable for the six statues on its mansard roof, each different, four across the ridge and two others either side of the base of the roof slope, as well as the terracotta figure of a seated girl atop a pillar next to the entrance. The roof is tiled with a multi-coloured pattern of chevrons. There is extensive use of metalwork in front of the windows and for drainage, and a three-part painted inset at the base of the roof.
The Guardian of 17 Jul 2006 ranked Frank Lowe in its top 100 in the media/advertising industry:
“The grand old man of advertising, Sir Frank Lowe caused a sensation when he quit the agency he founded 25 years ago to launch a new company – and promptly pinched one of his old agency’s biggest accounts.
After 15 years with Lowe Worldwide, Tesco pulled its £50m account to go with Sir Frank’s new start-up, Red Brick Road, named after the route that Dorothy decided not to follow in the Wizard of Oz.
It was quite a coup for Sir Frank, who co-founded Lowe Worldwide in 1981. He quit after relations became increasingly fraught with Lowe Worldwide’s parent, Interpublic, which bought the company in 1990. Adland hadn’t seen anything like it since Maurice and Charles walked out on Saatchi and Saatchi.
Classic Lowe campaigns read like a list of all-time greats, including ads for Hovis, Hamlet, Heineken and Stella Artois.
Once described as “terrifying but inspiring”, Sir Frank, who rarely talks to the press, made his name at the Collett Dickinson Pearce agency in the 1970s.
Knighted by Labour for his services to advertising and charity in 2002, less than a year after he donated £2m to the country’s first city academy in north London, he has been called the “definitive champagne socialist”.
He left Lowe Worldwide in 2003 and set up the new business following a two-year “non-compete” clause. He ended it in the most dramatic fashion with the capture of the Tesco account, one of the most successful ad campaigns of the last 10 years. Lowe’s start-up was also appointed the lead international creative agency for drinks giant Heineken.
“Frank has an absolute dedication to quality and he never lets up. It can drive you mad,” according to Red Brick Road chief executive Paul Hammersley, who worked with Sir Frank for 10 years at Lowe Worldwide. “Can he be unreasonable to people? Absolutely. Can he be inconvenient to people? Absolutely … But I have no doubts about working with him again.”.”