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"