Wednesday, May 09, 2007

AROUND THE GHERKIN...

LONDON REVISITED - DECEMBER 2004

In December 2004, I took some days off, and decided to stay in the City of London, close to some new architectural gems, rather than in the City of Westminster, as I usually did. It was an interesting experience, and it allowed me to walk around the City even in the evening, when almost everybody was already gone home...




"BARBICAN - Between 1965 and 1976, a new complex was built on a site that had been bombed in World War II. The complex includes a residential estate, the Barbican Arts Centre, the Museum of London, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Barbican Public Library, the City of London School for Girls and a YMCA. The complex is architecturally important as one of the principal examples of concrete Brutalist architecture and has been designated a site of special architectural interest. It is home to around 4,000 people living in 2,014 flats"




"THE GHERKIN - At 30 St Mary Axe, on the site of the former Baltic Exchange building, Norman Robert Foster, aka Lord Foster of Thames Bank, created a building widely known by the nickname «The Gherkin»! It hosts the London headquarters of Swiss Re, the world's largest reinsurer. It is 180 m tall, making it the second-tallest building in the City of London and the sixth-tallest in London as a whole"


"TOWER BRIDGE - I love Tower Bridge; and I love the story which claims that when the wealthy American entrepreneur Robert P. McCulloch bought the original London Bridge in 1968 and had it rebuilt in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, he was under the impression that he was actually buying Tower Bridge... This one has been there over the River Thames since 1894 and is one of the most recognisable bridges in the World. The views from the high-level walkways are fantastic"


"THE CITY HALL is another of Lord Foster's architectural gems. Quite close to the Tower of London, on the south bank of the Thames River, it is the home to the Mayor of London, the London Assembly and the Greater London Authority, who in July 2002 became tenants of the striking rounded glass building. This photo was taken from the Tower Bridge"


"THE TOWER OF LONDON was founded nearly a millennium ago and expanded upon over the centuries since. It has recently been the repository of the Crown Jewels and houses the famous flightless ravens. The Tower of London has a form as a «concentric» castle, with successive lines of fortification. The NatWest Tower and the Gherkin are also visible in the photo taken also from Tower Bridge"





"THIS GLOBE THEATRE is a 1997 replica of the original Globe Theatre, built in 1599 by the playing company to which Shakespeare belonged, and destroyed by fire on June 29, 1613. The Globe Theatre was rebuilt in June, 1614 and closed in 1642. The modern version was built according to an Elizabethan plan, and was the first thatched roof building permitted in London since the Great Fire of London in 1666. It now stages plays every summer from May to October, and one can either sit at the covered Galleries or stand at the open-air front-scene Yard. The problem is that if you're standing and it rains no umbrellas are allowed..."



"TATE MODERN - Views from the top restaurant: Saint Paul, NatWest Tower and The Gherkin"

18 comments:

Peter said...

What has been in London the last decades is just fantastic, City, Docklands... To transform the old docks which could not any more be used for what they were originally thought was an excellent idea.

To visit London today is quite exiting (but expensive).

This is really a complete cover. You do things seriously.

Paris is much less transformed. What has been tried on part of the Seine left bank is for the moment not that successful. However, Paris (and region) has made the choice to concentrate all new office areas to outside the Paris borders (La Défense...).

Kalyan said...

Some excellently captured shots...it was nice visiting London through your lens.

Piika said...

pretty cool vistas of London!

Sally said...

Love, love love love The Globe Theatre. Would love to go to a performance there.

There were some cool exteriors of The Gherkin recently in an episode of my fave TV show of the moment, Spooks.

Ta for bringing it all to us!

[You know what I reckon the single biggest improvement to London inthe past decade is? The Millenium footbridge. Suddenly both sides of the Thames in that end are so PROXIMATE!]

guida said...

Beautiful shots of the new London! Noticing that your blog becomes more and more visited by a number of different people from so many different places I feel that it would be nice to show (with your eyes, so seriously like Peter says)a little bit of Lisbon, Portugal!
Hope you will accept this suggestion soon!

Trotter said...

Hi Peter thanks for the comment. You're right: visiting London nowadays is very exciting and outrageously expensive - prices are somehow the same as in euro (or a little more) but paid in pounds...
Paris near Bercy, Cour Saint-Emilion and the Mitterand Library is also a nice experience. I like it, as well as the La Villette quarter and the new Canal St. Martin. You may see some of it under the label Paris!

Thanks Kalyan and Piika!

Trotter said...

Sally,
the Globe looks fantastic. I made a tour as there were no performances in December... The Gherkin is great but the Millenium Bridge is fantastic! However, the bridge balanced a bit oddly immediately after the first opening (June 10th, 2000), but then closed three days later and reopened only on February 22, 2002. It looks ok now...

Guida,
time is my problem... I don't have enough to commit myself for a photo a day and don't have enough to visit everybody I would love to...

Ming_the_Merciless said...

I haven't been to London in over 25 years. I was there was a kid.

I love your photos of London. I will definitely have to go to London again.

So when are you coming to NYC?

alice said...

I spent a few days in London on 1999 but, looking to your photos, I think I need to go back again, so many new buildings to see!

Seda said...

Very very interesting buildings. Especially the one that looks like bullet.
Seda

Trotter said...

Ming,
London is pretty exciting like Peter said, but quite expensive nowadays (and the «Old Lady» of Threadneedle Street raised the rates today - May 10, 2007 - to 5.5%) which means the pound will not go down in the near future...
I'll be in Michigan next week and just some 30 hours in NYC Saturday and Sunday...

Alice, Seda thanks for commenting. London is probably one of the most stimulating cities to visit!

Cuckoo said...

It was wonderful to visit London thru your lens. Nice descriptions also.

All the shots are just beautiful.

Keep it up.

freefalling said...

I love your blog - I learn so much cool stuff!

I love the gherkin - I've never seen or heard of it before. I wonder what it is like on the inside at the top.

Trotter said...

Thanks cuckoo and freefalling.
It must be an amazing experience at the top of The Gherkin!

isabella said...

What a coincidence! We were there also in 2004 and saw all the places you've mentioned! Thanks for that walk down the memory lane ;-)

But my favorite is still the British Library with the original Magna Carta, Chopin's sheet music, Asten's manuscripts and so much more...

Trotter said...

Isabella, nice to hear that you liked the post. I also love the British Library and I thought I had some pictures of it but couldn't find... The St. Pancras building is fabulous and the Lindisfarne Gospels, Leonardo's Notebook and the Magna Carta are great. The Salisbury version of the Carta however is probably in better shape...
I'll be flying to Michigan, so I'll be out for a week. No posts, no comments!

Sigma said...

Lovely pictures. And wonderful modern architecture.
I loved the picture of Thames flowing through the city, with the skyscrapers forming the backdrop! What a contrast!!

Trotter said...

Thanks Sigma! London helps to take nice pictures...