Grecian Chambers

Photo: Alan Crumlish

Alexander Thomson

1865

Category A Listed

Although Thomson’s nickname was “Greek”, this building makes more reference to Egyptian antiquity than to any of the more usual Greek or Roman classical motifs. The long symmetrical range is bookended by pavilions with decorative caps, while the top-floor gallery sits behind a row of squat Egyptian columns. Thomson was not only a great interpreter of antiquity, but a technical innovator. The ground-floor shops of this important building feature large plate-glass windows, an ingenious approach to retailing in its day. Given Thomson’s international importance, it is appropriate that much of the building is now occupied by the Centre for Contemporary Arts.