Norman Shaw Building

The Norman Shaw Buildings (formerly known as New Scotland Yard) are a pair of buildings in Westminster, London. Built by renowned architect Richard Norman Shaw between 1887–1906, they were originally the location of New Scotland Yard (the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police) until 1967, but from 1979 have been used as Parliamentary offices and have been named Norman Shaw North and South Buildings, augmenting limited space in the Palace of Westminster.


The buildings are in banded red brick and white portland stone on a granite base in the Victorian Gothic style, and are located upon Victoria Embankment next-door to Portcullis House.

The North Building is Grade I listed.[1] It was designed in 1887[2] as the replacement central offices of the Metropolitan Police, Shaw being the personal choice of the Home Secretary, Henry Matthews.[2] It was built on land reclaimed from the River Thames by the building of the Victoria Embankment and which was previously allocated to a new opera house which was already partly built.[2] The cost was around £120,000.[2] In 1888, during the construction of New Scotland Yard, workers discovered the dismembered torso of a female; the case, known as the "Whitehall Mystery", has never been solved. Opened in 1890, the building was soon found inadequate for the growing police force and an extension was required.

The South Building, now Grade II* listed,[3] built 1902-1906, was originally called Scotland House. Its elevations were designed by Shaw. It was linked to the original north building by a bridge over the then public road. Iron gates by Reginald Blomfield were erected. They are now Grade II* listed.[4]

Refurbishment by House of Commons

The north building was refurbished between 1973 and 1975 at a cost of £3,250,000 with the external walls being cleaned and the interior being re-fitted with offices for 128 MPs and their secretaries, dormitories (converted to offices in 2002), television studios and a library. False ceilings were erected to conserve heat and improve lighting and carpets were laid. In 2000 a walkway to the Palace of Westminster via Portcullis House was created to reduce the time for members to reach the chamber for divisions (voting).[2]

The south building was refurbished between 1976 and 1979 with offices for 56 MPs, a gymnasium (later moved to another building) and a flat for the Clerk of the House. There were no false ceilings or carpeting, nor exterior cleaning. A further refurbishment of the interior and exterior and roof was done between 2001 and 2003.[2]

Offices of the Leader of the Opposition

Under the leadership of Michael Howard, David Cameron, and Ed Miliband, the office of the Leader of the Opposition has been situated in a suite in the Norman Shaw Buildings.[5]

See also


Coordinates: 51°30′08″N 0°07′29″W / 51.502238°N 0.124666°W / 51.502238; -0.124666