Architecture and interior design

Scope and Content

This sub-fonds includes architectural model pieces, plans, designs and sketches for buildings and interior designs by Oliver Messel from 1951 to 1978 in Britain, United States and the West Indies. Also some correspondence, colour palettes, notes and reference material such as postcards and photographs.

Administrative / Biographical History

Messel's work included temporary decorations for festival occasions such as balls, royal box decorations and window displays, and interior design commissions, including the Dorchester Hotel Suite and Penthouse (1953) and the restoration of the Bath Assembly Rooms (1961-1963). From 1966 until his death in 1978, Messel lived full-time in Barbados and began a new career as a designer of luxury private homes in Barbados and the then undeveloped island of Mustique, as well as other locations in the West Indies. He also designed some public buildings, including a village school in Mustique. His designs were realised by Arnë Hasselquist, a Swedish architect.


This sub-fonds has been divided into eleven series arranged intially by name of building in alphabetical order, followed by buildings in the West Indies and miscellaneous projects (NB series number THM/321/52 is not used).