One of the most elegant and opulent Edwardian office buildings in Britain
Erected on the site of the house of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1517-1547), Surrey House is a Grade I listed building. It was designed by local architect George Skipper as the new headquarters for The Norwich Union Life Insurance Society, now Aviva.
Skipper produced a splendid yet functional office space. He incorporated various Greek and masonic symbols, together with the themes of insurance, protection and wellbeing in the design of Surrey House.
The main hall (known as Marble Hall) is magnificent - it incorporates over 15 types of marble, originally destined for Westminster Cathedral. The hall has a spectacular glass-domed ceiling, of around 11m in diameter and contains an innovative Edwardian air conditioning system.
The West Committee Room is also impressive; richly decorated in ebony inlaid mahogany it houses the original Board Room table. The Board Room includes beautifully carved mahogany wall panelling and a fantastic collection of ceiling paintings.
Today Surrey House remains as an office building for Aviva (formerly known as Norwich Union).