Oriel Chambers is a Grade I listed building located on Water Street in Liverpool. The building, which was a work of architect Peter Ellis, was built in 1864 and comprises 43000sq.ft which is set out over five floors. Oriel Chambers, and the architects only other known built project at 16 Cook Street, are amongst the city’s precursors of modernist architecture. However, its simplified forms and large windows meant that the building was initially subject to courting controversy, being described by local critics as a ‘monstrous agglomeration of protruding plate glass bubbles’ and even ‘a great abortion’. Today, the building looks a little different to when it was first built. It’s period architecture is combined with a 1950s extension which was added to the building after it was bombed during World War II. Oriel chambers remains, however, one of the finest and most influential buildings of its age. It was one of the first office buildings to use an iron framework structure, its innovative design having a considerable influence on office buildings across the world, inspiring John Root’s early Chicago skyscrapers and shaping the New York skyline we know today. Oriel Chambers was named as one of Britain’s 50 most inspiring buildings alongside LLoyds of London, Clifton Suspension Bridge and Hadrian’s Wall in the Telegraph, Sunday 29th November 2008. Oriel Chambers is now occupied.
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