Sunday, March 30, 2008

Carreras Cigarette Factory, London

former Carreras Cigarette Factory, LondonThis Egyptian temple was built in 1926-28 by architects M.E and O.H Collins with A.G Porri just a few years after Howard Carter had discovered the intact tomb of the boy-king Tutankhamun. Originally Carreras Cigarette Factory it became an office building in the 1960s losing many of the wonderful Art Deco features.

former Carreras Cigarette Factory, LondonEgyptian inspired Art Deco at its most colourful and those colours are amazing. Blue, red and green at the top and bottom of each column emphasising the lotus flower a common ancient Egyptian design motif.

The entrance is guarded by a pair of black cats. These statues stand over a metre tall at the top of a short flights of steps leading up to a modern glass doorway.

Whiskers, Carreras Cigarette Factory, LondonThe black cat was the logo of Carreras Cigarettes and is also represented in a series of reliefs along the façade of the building either side of the Carreras name. Seen close up, the reliefs show a cats head with bright yellow eyes and wire whiskers.

Now called Greater London House the building was restored in 1999.


  1. Wow, it's kinda over the top, but I love it!

  2. It certainly it is a bit outlandish. Who would have thought of an Egyptian Temple to cigarettes.

  3. I think the original cat statues were much larger,am I right,or is my memory playing tricks. Anne

  4. Good question Anne. From the original plans and a 1928 photo reproduced in Imhotep Today: Egyptianizing Architecture by Jean-Marcel Humbert and C. A. Price, the cats seem to have always been that size.