Reframing a “subfusc” Institute: Building on the past for the future at Chartered Accountants' Hall, London, 1956-1970

Sam McKinstry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The study which follows traces the circumstances surrounding the rebuilding of Chartered Accountants’ Hall, London, from ca. 1965 to 1970, in order to show how the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales consciously utilised the architecture of its remodelled headquarters for status-building purposes and for adjusting public perceptions of its role in society. It proceeds by outlining the Hall's prehistory, dealing with the earlier use of architectural effect by the Institute to build its status when Chartered Accountants’ Hall was first built in 1893. Setting the Hall's extension in the context of post-World War II Britain and a rapidly expanding Institute, it details the practicalities associated with the rebuilding; it also outlines the architectural climate of the times and reveals the architect's design ideas and use of architectural metaphors and iconography for status building and related purposes. The study makes clear the role of key individuals within the Institute in forwarding the project, as well as emphasising the unique, creative contribution of the architect. It also offers some refinements to the findings of Macdonald (1989) and McKinstry (1997) concerning the role and use of professional headquarters as status symbols.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1384-1413
Number of pages29
JournalCritical Perspectives on Accounting
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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