Address: 49 Portland Place , London W1B 1JL
General Line: +44 20 7299 4049
Office Hour: 9:00am. to 12:00am; 2:00 p.m. to 5: 00p.m. (Monday – Friday, Except British and Chinese holidays)
The Chinese Embassy in the United Kingdom is located at 49/51 Portland Place. The building was originally constructed in 1785, co-designed by Robert Adam and his brother James Adam, two famed British architects. With its beautiful appearance and exquisitely decorated interior, it was a celebrated architecture in the 18th century Britain and a Class B protected cultural property of the UK.
Ever since the government of Qing Dynasty established a diplomatic mission in the UK, 49 Portland Place had been the premises of the Chinese Legation and Chinese Embassy on short-term lease. On July 6, 1924, the Chinese Embassy under the Kuomintang government took a long-term lease on 49 Portland Place. On April 6, 1926, the Chinese Embassy rented 51 Portland Place and obtained a 999-year lease for both buildings.
As the building had grown old when the diplomatic relation between China and the UK was upgraded to ambassadorial level in 1972, the Chinese Embassy made a request to the British authorities for approval of a reconstruction project. The request was granted by the owner and approved by the British government in 1973. However, it was required that the reconstruction must be confined to the interior while the façade be preserved. After consultation, the British authorities agreed to demolish the entire building provided that the original facade would be restored.
The original building was demolished in 1980. Reconstruction started in June 1983 and completed in September 1985. The new building was designed by Beijing Architectural Design Institute and constructed by Wates Construction in Britain. The facade of the new building facing the Portland Place was basically the same as the original one, but that it has one instead of two front doors for the sake of better appearance. The new building is in a structure of site cast reinforced concrete frame with brick enclosure; it has an outside wall of double brick with an insulating layer in between; and it covers an area of 830 square meters and a building area of 6,000 square meters.