BADEN-POWELL HOUSE, colloquially known as B-P HOUSE, is a Scouting
hostel and conference centre in South
Kensington , London, which was
built as a tribute to Lord Baden-Powell , the founder of Scouting. The
house, owned by
The Scout Association
The Scout Association , hosts a small exhibition
Scouting in its current form and a granite statue by Don
The building committee, chaired by Sir
Harold Gillett , Lord Mayor of
London , purchased the site in 1956, and assigned
Ralph Tubbs to
design the house in the modern architectural style. The foundation
stone was laid in 1959 by World Chief Guide Olave, Lady Baden-Powell ,
and it was opened in 1961 by Queen Elizabeth II . The largest part of
the £400,000 cost was provided by the Scout Movement itself. Over the
years, the house has been refurbished several times, so that it now
provides modern and affordable lodging for Scouts, Guides , their
families and the general public staying in London. The building also
hosts conference and event space for hire.
* 1 History
* 3 Baden-Powell collection
* 4 21st century: Hostel and Conference centre
* 5 See also
* 6 References
* 7 External links
From an address by Elizabeth II
Baden-Powell himself has gone, but his Movement remains and
grows—a memorial more enduring than stone or steel. It is, however,
fitting that, here in England, where he started it, there should be a
house, bearing his name and serving the needs of the Movement, which
can express our gratitude to him in a practical way.
Acting on a 1942 initiative by Chief Scout Lord Somers , a formal
Baden-Powell House Committee was established by The Scout Association
in 1953 under the direction of Sir
Harold Gillett , later Lord Mayor
London . The committee's directive was to build a hostel to provide
Scouts a place to stay at reasonable cost while visiting London. For
this purpose, in 1956 the committee purchased a bombed-out property at
the intersection of
Cromwell Road and Queen\'s Gate at a cost of
The Scout Movement raised the major part of the funding of £400,000
for building and furnishing the building between 1957 and 1959. Scouts
throughout the Country collected 'ship' halfpennies, and this raised
the bulk of the money for the building. Money was also raised through
public appeals supported by publication in Scout Movement magazines, a
collection of donations in 15,000 brick-shaped boxes, and 5,000 appeal
letters signed personally by then Chief Scout Lord Rowallan . Scouts
representing every county were present at the opening.
In a celebration on 17 October 1959 the foundation stone was laid by
the World Chief Guide (
Olave Baden-Powell ), in the presence of Lord
Mayor Sir Harold Gillett, the new Chief Scout Sir Charles Maclean ,
and 400 other guests. A casket was buried under the foundation stone
which held 1959 Scout mementoes, stamps, coins, photographs, etc., and
a programme of the ceremony.
With 142 Queen\'s Scouts as Guard of Honour, and live broadcast by
the BBC (commentator
Richard Dimbleby ),
Baden-Powell House was opened
on 12 July 1961 by Queen Elizabeth II . Afterwards, she toured the
house with the Chief Scout and the president of The Scout Association,
Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester . A black marble panel with
gold lettering was put on the balcony in the hall to commemorate the
Baden-Powell House, side view Baden-Powell House, front
The house was designed by the architect
Ralph Tubbs in 1956, whose
works included the
Dome of Discovery , the highlight of the 1951
Festival of Britain . Tubbs' floor plans and a model of his design
were displayed during a fundraising campaign and exhibition on 21
February 1957 in the Egyptian Hall of the Mansion House .
The six storied
Baden-Powell House is designed in the modern
architectural style , as pioneered by the Swiss architect Le Corbusier
from the late 1920s onwards, and predominating in the 1950s. At
Baden-Powell House, Tubbs made the first floor overhang the ground
Le Corbusier architectural design choice to free the building
from the ground, such as seen in his
Pavillon Suisse at the Cité
Internationale Universitaire in
Paris . Additionally, Le Corbusier's
Sainte Marie de La Tourette priory in
Lyon shows two floors of monk's
cells with small windows, cantilevered over the more open floors
below, another design choice used by Tubbs in the facade of
Baden-Powell House. While Tubbs created
Baden-Powell House in the
modern architectural style of Le Corbusier, he used more architectural
restraint in his own design choices. For example, he made the main
visible building component brick rather than concrete. This heavier
evolution of Le Corbusier's style was popular in England throughout
the post-war years until replaced by the
Brutalist style in the later
Baden-Powell House was built to Tubbs' design by Harry Neal Ltd, for
which they received the 1961 Gold Medal of the Worshipful Company of
Tylers and Bricklayers . At the opening, the house received the
building design award for 'The building of most merit in London.'
Thirty-five years after its opening,
Baden-Powell House was
refurbished in a six-month £2 million programme, providing all modern
amenities such as private facilities for all rooms, double glazing,
and air conditioning, as well as enhancing conference facilities for
large and small events. Upon completion of the programme, the house
was opened by the president of The Scout Association, Prince Edward,
Duke of Kent on 5 June 1997. In 2002 a
Starbucks coffee (discontinued
before 2015) and sandwich bar was opened, as well as an outdoor roof
garden adjacent to the meeting conference rooms on the second floor.
Although it has since been replaced with a number of smaller displays
available to the public in the reception area showing some traditional
Scouting skills, a notable collection of Baden-Powell memorabilia has
been on display in the past for visitors in 'The story of B-P'
exhibition. This included many drawings and letters by Baden-Powell
himself, such as the original of his Last Message to Scouts, Laws for
me when I am old and several first editions of his books. The former
exhibition also displayed the original painting by
David Jagger , as
presented to Baden-Powell on 29 August 1929 at the 'Coming of Age' 3rd
World Scout Jamboree . This painting, a personal favourite of
Baden-Powell, is often used in publications throughout the Scout
movement. The Baden-Powell memorabilia has since been moved to the
Scouting in the UK,
Gilwell Park .
As an introductory part of the collection, a nearly 3 meter high
statue of Baden-Powell has been erected in front of Baden-Powell
House, the only granite statue in London. The sculptor was
Baden-Powell's personal friend
Don Potter . It was unveiled on 12 July
1961 by the Duke of Gloucester, as part of the official opening of the
21ST CENTURY: HOSTEL AND CONFERENCE CENTRE
Statue of Baden-Powell by
Don Potter (1960)
From 1974 to 2001,
Baden-Powell House was the headquarters of The
Scout Association, for which a dedicated extension to the house was
completed in 1976. In April 2001, the headquarters formally moved to
new accommodation at
Gilwell Park . As the owner of Baden-Powell
The Scout Association
The Scout Association receives a net income out of the revenues
of approximately £1.5 million.
Baden-Powell House provides a hostel for people visiting London. In
the period 2004–2006 the hostel participated in the Youth Hostel
Association , after which the Scout Association entered into an
agreement with German company Meininger City Hostels. The building is
still owned by The Scout Association, but it is run by Meininger. As
part of the arrangement with this company Scout members from the UK
and abroad are able to stay at a reduced rate. It is also a conference
and event space.
Baden-Powell House is rated Four Star by the Visit
Britain Quality Assurance, and Mobility Level 1; also recent visitors
rate it on average 4 out of 5.
The hostel and conference centre is entered through a wide glazed
atrium which serves as a large foyer containing the cafe and some
Scouting displays. From the atrium the large hall is reached which can
serve as an auditorium with seating for up to 300 people. The first
floor has a restaurant seating 100 guests; the second floor has
meeting rooms, and conference facilities for groups up to 80 delegates
per room. The upper floors contain 180 hostel bedrooms. In an average
year, 30 thousand people spend the night, and 100 thousand meals are
served in the restaurant.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to BADEN-POWELL HOUSE .
Baden-Powell International House , 25-story hotel of The Scout
Association of Hong Kong in Kowloon, Hong Kong
* Ellsworth Augustus Scout House , the Boy Scouts of America hostel,
in Mendham, New Jersey
Jamboree on the Air , call sign for
Baden-Powell House is GB3BPH
Kandersteg International Scout Centre
* ^ A B C D E F G H I Wood, Edward (April 1971). The story of
B.-P.'s House. London:
The Scout Association
The Scout Association . ISBN 0-85165-016-3 .
* ^ "The Twentieth Century Society, Building of the Month February
2005". Retrieved 2015-05-17.
* ^ "Image of the Pavillon Suisse". Archived from the original on 9
November 2007. Retrieved 2015-05-17.
* ^ "Cities and Buildings Database: La Tourette Monastery".
University of Washington. Retrieved 2015-05-17.
* ^ Copplestone, Trewin (Ed.) (1966). World Architecture: an
illustrated history. London: Hamlyn. pp. 331–333, caption 1002 and
onward to 341. ISBN 0-600-03954-4 . CS1 maint: Extra text: authors
list (link )
* ^ A B C D "Baden-Powell House" (PDF). Scoutbase Fact Sheet.
Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 December 2004. Retrieved
* ^ "
Baden-Powell House International Centre re-opened by HRH The
Duke of Kent" (PDF). The Passing years, Milestones in the progress of
The Scout Association
The Scout Association . Archived from the original (PDF) on
24 July 2006. Retrieved 2015-05-17.
* ^ "Example of Jagger\'s painting on scout merchandise". Archived
from the original on 26 September 2006. Retrieved 2006-07-06.
* ^ Bevan, John (2001). Annual report & accounts 2000–2001. The
Scout Association .
* ^ Asplin, John (2005). Join the adventure. Annual Report
The Scout Association
The Scout Association .
* ^ "Five visitor ratings for
Baden-Powell House hostel".
TripAdvisor. Retrieved 2006-07-14.
* ^ "Visitor rating for Baden-Powell House". Yahoo Travel.
* ^ "Visitor rating for Baden-Powell House". Virtual Tourist.
Archived from the original on 18 August 2006. Retrieved 2006-07-14.