Pite, Arthur Beresford

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Pite, Arthur Beresford (1861–1934). English architect and draughtsman who is remembered for several distinguished buildings and his architectural fantasies. He worked with John Belcher for 14 years, also carrying on his own practice and making drawings for The Builder. With Belcher he designed the Hall of the Incorporated Chartered Accountants, Great Swan Alley, City of London (1889–90), where sculpture (by Harry Bates (1850–99), Sir William Hamo Thorneycroft (1850–1925), and others) was fully integrated with the Mannerist Baroque architecture. The building was to be influential, mainly in Great Britain and Germany, mostly Berlin. Pite's Mannerism was best seen at 44 and 82 Mortimer Street, London (1890s), where the precedents were in the work of Michelangelo in Florence.

On his own account, Pite travelled in the Middle East, and, influenced perhaps by Bentley's designs for Westminster Cathedral, London (1895–1903), designed the Parish Hall and Christ Church, North Brixton, London (1901–5), in which Byzantine, Mannerist, and serliana motifs are synthesized in one centralized composition. He also designed the Anglican Cathedral at Kampala, Uganda (1913–18), and churches at Entebbe, Uganda, Bucharest, and Warsaw, among other places.

Like other architects of the period, Pite turned to Neo-Classicism, and his office for the London, Edinburgh, and Glasgow Assurance Company, Euston Square, London (1906–19), was the first scholarly Greek Revival building in London since the 1850s, using a variation on the Bassae Order of C. R. Cockerell. One of his most interesting works, Pagani's Restaurant, Great Portland Street, London (1904–5), with its ceramic-covered façade, was destroyed in the 1939–45 war. He also designed the rumbustious Piccadilly entrance to Burlington Arcade, London (1911–30).

Bibliography

D&M (1985);
A. S. Gray (1985);
Service (ed) (1975);
Service (1977);
Jane Turner (1996)