Admiralty Arch in London
Admiralty Arch is a large office building in London which incorporates an archway providing road and pedestrian access between The Mall, which extends to the South-West, and Trafalgar Square to the North-East. It was designed by Sir Aston Webb, constructed by John Mowlem & Co and completed in 1912. It adjoins the Old Admiralty Building, hence the name.
The building was commissioned by King Edward VII in memory of his mother Queen Victoria, although he did not live to see its completion. A Latin inscription along the top reads:
(In the tenth year of King Edward VII, to Queen Victoria, from most grateful citizens, 1910)
The sculptural figures of Navigation and Gunnery were designed by the English sculptor Thomas Brock.
Admiralty Arch is a Grade I listed building. In 2000, the Cabinet Office moved into offices in the building, while maintaining its headquarters on Whitehall. It was also home to the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit and the Social Exclusion Task Force. In 2011, following the government's austerity programme which resulted in the offices becoming vacant, the building was put on sale.
Another famous feature of Admiralty Arch is its "nose". On the inside wall of the northernmost arch there is a small protrusion the size and shape of a human nose. It was placed there by artist Rick Buckley in 1997 as part of a campaign against the "Big Brother" society. The nose is at a height of about seven feet, and sits at waist height for anyone riding through the arch on a horse. Prior to Mr Buckley being unmasked by the London Evening Standard, one urban myth grew that the nose is there in honour of the Duke of Wellington, who was known for having a particularly large nose.