The Pyramid, council offices at 95 The Grove from 1976 until 1998 - did you 'love it' or 'hate it'?
This daring piece of modern architecture, called a ziggurat, won an award for civic architecture, and was opened on 7th May, 1976 by L. A. Wood, the Mayor of Newham. The late Alderman Sam Boyce was the inspiration behind the pyramid and the design was the brainchild of former Borough Architect & Planning Officer, Ken Lund, FRTPI Dip. Arch RIBA and Norman White, RIBA. The builder was Thomas Bates & Sons Limited. It was built on the site of Council's Finance Department offices, which had previously been the Board of Education offices.
It was to have been phase 1 of a "Pyramid City" of civic centre and council offices, when built it accommodated the Housing and Finance Departments. Three pyramids were going to be built as part of the plan but in the end only one was built.
Over the years it became expensive to maintain, possibly due to design faults. It also occupied a lot of ground space. It was decided to demolish it, which was done in February 1998. Thus it only had a life of 22 years.
The site was sold to Safeway's and developed as a superstore, hotel and new library. The library opened on 30 October, 2000. The cost of the whole scheme was £28 million.
The small memorial stone at the front of the building commemorates Edith Kerrison, the first woman to serve on West Ham Council, later becoming Alderman and Hon. Freeman.
From the collection of Newham Heritage & Archives