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View Poll Results: Please rate this building.
10 6 5.45%
9.5 3 2.73%
9 5 4.55%
8.5 13 11.82%
8 15 13.64%
7.5 10 9.09%
7 12 10.91%
6.5 12 10.91%
6 4 3.64%
5.5 5 4.55%
5 8 7.27%
4.5 3 2.73%
4 5 4.55%
3.5 0 0%
3 or less 9 8.18%
Voters: 110. You may not vote on this poll

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Old January 8th, 2005, 11:20 PM   #1
Monkey
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BT Tower, London

British Telecom Tower
Central London

Height: 191m
Floors: 22
Built: 1961-1964
Architect: Eric Bedford

Links:
Guardian article - Why we love the BT Tower
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BT_Tower
http://www.urban75.org/london/telecom.html
Skyscrapers.com listing


Notes:
The British Telecom Tower in London's West End was the first purpose-built tower to transmit high frequency radio waves, and it serves as a functional telecommunications centre designed to relay broadcast, Internet and telephone information around the world.

The 191m tower was commissioned by the General Post Office (GPO). It was designed by the architects of the Ministry of Public Building and Works: the chief architects were Eric Bedford and G. R. Yeats. Typically for its time, the building is concrete clad in glass. The narrow cylinder shape was chosen because of the requirements of the communications aerials: the building will shift no more than 25 cm in wind speeds of up to 150 km/h. Initially the first sixteen floors were for technical equipment and power, above that was a 35 metre section for the microwave aerials, and above that were six floors of suites, kitchens, technical equipment and finally a gridwork aerial. To prevent heat build-up the glass cladding was of a special tint. The construction cost was 2.5 million.

Construction began in June 1961. The tower was topped out on July 15, 1964 and it was operational from October 8, 1965. The building contractors were Peter Lind & Company.

The tower was officially opened to the public on May 16, 1966 by Tony Benn and Billy Butlin. As well as the communications gear and office space there were viewing galleries, a souvenir shop, and a slowly rotating restaurant, the "Top of the Tower", on the 34th floor, operated by Butlins. It made one revolution every 22 minutes.

A suspected IRA bomb exploded in the roof of the men's toilets at the Top of the Tower on October 31, 1971 and it was subsequently closed to the public for security reasons. The restaurant closed in 1980 when Butlins' lease expired and non-BT-approved access to the building ceased. In 1981 it was superseded as the tallest building in Britain by the NatWest Tower.

When the GPO telecommunications services were split off in 1981 (in advance of the 1984 privatisation) the tower was renamed the London Telecom Tower. After the rebranding of the company in 1992 it became the BT Tower. The building is still not open to the public. The restaurant has been re-opened, and is now used by BT for corporate sponsorship events and promotions: since the re-discovery of spare parts for the mechanism, they even rotate it occasionally.

In 2004 the DJ Brian Transeau (who goes by the stage name BT) did a concert at the site that was carried on BBC Radio 1, leading to utter confusion for worldwide online listeners and others who are less than familiar with the structure.

The tower is still in use, and is the site of a major UK communications hub. Fiber optic links have replaced microwave links for most mainstream purposes, but the tower is still used for microwave links. The base of the tower contains the TV Network Switching Centre which carries broadcasting traffic and relays signals used by the BBC and other television broadcasters.

The BT Tower was given grade II listed building status in 2003.



























































Last edited by wjfox; May 8th, 2006 at 08:39 PM.
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Old January 9th, 2005, 01:57 PM   #2
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Gets a 9 out of 10 from me. It's a shame they don't re-open the observation deck to the public.
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Old January 9th, 2005, 02:02 PM   #3
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6.5/10. The views from up there must look better than from ground level.
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Old January 9th, 2005, 02:11 PM   #4
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Looking east from the top of the tower:



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Old January 9th, 2005, 02:14 PM   #5
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looks like too 'tower' to me. 7.5/10
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Old January 9th, 2005, 02:23 PM   #6
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7 from me. Not bad but nothing special.
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Old January 9th, 2005, 02:59 PM   #7
Desven
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not my flavour!shape and facade are boring!
5/10
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Old January 9th, 2005, 08:37 PM   #8
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7.5/10 I like all the glass on the lower part of the tower
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Old January 10th, 2005, 06:40 PM   #9
Accura4Matalan
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8/10. I have a real soft spot for it. It looks fantastic from a distance.
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Old January 10th, 2005, 07:46 PM   #10
Jakob
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In my opinion it's absolutely special! 9.5/10...
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Old January 10th, 2005, 11:07 PM   #11
RafflesCity
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I dont think its pretty but its a very familiar landmark and has that 'futuristic' theme in a rather historical setting - thats what makes it rather striking.

7.5
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Old January 11th, 2005, 12:49 AM   #12
Wu-Gambino
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6/10
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Old January 13th, 2005, 05:42 PM   #13
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*icon alert*

8/10
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Old January 13th, 2005, 07:03 PM   #14
DamienK
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7.5/10
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Old January 13th, 2005, 10:30 PM   #15
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Don't particularly like it but it's pretty tall so 6.5/10
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Old January 14th, 2005, 05:15 AM   #16
DegLG
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Nice!! 8/10
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Old January 15th, 2005, 02:28 AM   #17
SeeMacau
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doesn't look good to me .. 5/10
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Old January 15th, 2005, 04:27 AM   #18
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5...not very purdy
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Old January 15th, 2005, 04:39 AM   #19
GuilhermeC
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The view's good but the building's horrible.
5/10
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Old January 17th, 2005, 12:10 AM   #20
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