I was having lunch today at Pizza Express on the South Bank, near The Globe. On the opposite bank, north west of the Millenium Footbridge is this big white building with copper roofing. Looks to be not far from The Old Bailey.
I recall reading somewhere that Sir Edwin Lutyens designed the facades and roof level pavilions, though he probably was not responsible for the overall massing. I tried to check the internet to confirm this, but no luck so far. I've mislaid my Pevsner that covers the City of London, but this should confirm Lutyen's involvement. He often designed facades of buildings designed by others in the 20s and 30s. eg Midland Bank, 140 Fenchurch Street.
I found my Pevsner City of London guidebook (1997, updated by Simon Bradley). It says that A.J.Myers was the principal architect and continues as follows:
"Denounced immediately it went up for the damage its nine-storeys and square-towered skyline inflicted on views of St Pauls; protective legislation swiftly followed. Classically detailed, attempting playfulness in the Lutyens way, but spread too thin."
If this building had been built elsewhere it likely would not have been controversial. In an odd sort of way, the austere form and massing resembles a mini Battersea Power Station, though with Classical rather than Art Deco detailing, and no chimneys sitting atop the corner towers.
During WW2, as the hub of international telecommunications, this was one of the most important buildings to protect and had people on the roof throughout the blitz to put out incendiary fires, with an addition constructed during the war with a very thick protective concrete roof. Some refer to it aa a citadel.
It may not perform such a strategically important role today but no doubt it is still a nexus of London's telecommunications so likely remains in use for such purposes in some way.
I thought initially it was still owned by BT but it isn't.....I used to work around there a few years ago and never saw the doors open or anyone going in there given the size of the place you would have thought people would come and go.......almost makes me wonder whether its empty or just underused.
I walked over the Millenium Footbridge andalong to Fleet Street the other day and realised I could walk past the south side of The Faraday building. There is a discreet BT sign on one set of doors facing Queen Victoria Street but not much sign of life. Maybe like other BT buildings, the miniaturisation of the equipment over the years means it's a bit of a white elephant now. I think somone up at board level should suggest BT move into the Self-Storage industry.
And yes, the Scientologists are next door... though, again, with all the spare space next door, they could easily be building a mothership in there.
I'm new to this and trying to link in a picture with a question; this is the response I get:
"Post denied. New posts are limited by number of URLs it may contain and checked if it doesn't contain forbidden words."
Is it cause I'm new or doing something wrong? The link is from flickr, though I would copy direct from PC if Poss. Thanks. AB
A forum community dedicated to skyscrapers, towers, highrises, construction, and city planning enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about structures, styles, reviews, scale, transportation, skylines, architecture, and more!