Friday, June 15, 2012

Architecture of London

London is not characterised by any
particular architectural style, having
accumulated its buildings over a long
period of time. Few structures predate
the Great Fire of 1666, notable
exceptions including the Tower of
London , Westminster Abbey, Banqueting
House and several scattered Tudor
survivors in the City of London .
In itself, the City contains a wide variety
of styles, progressing through Wren's
late 17th century churches and the
financial institutions of the 18th and 19th
century such as the Royal Exchange and
the Bank of England , to the early 20th
century Old Bailey (England and Wales'
central criminal court) and the 1960s
Barbican Estate . Notable recent buildings
are the 1980s skyscraper Tower 42 , the
Lloyd's building with services running
along the outside of the structure, and
the 2004 Swiss Re building, known as the
London's generally low-rise nature
makes these skyscrapers and others such
as One Canada Square and its
neighbours at Canary Wharf and the BT
Tower in Fitzrovia very noticeable from a
distance. High-rise development is
restricted at certain sites if it would
obstruct protected views of St. Paul's
Cathedral . Nevertheless, there are plans
for more skyscrapers in central London, including
the 72-story "Shard of Glass" , which is
nearing completion and will be the
tallest building in the European Union.
Other notable modern buildings include
City Hall in Southwark with its distinctive
ovular shape, the British Library in
Somers Town , the Great Court of the
British Museum , and the striking
Millennium Dome next to the Thames
east of Canary Wharf. The disused (but
soon to be rejuvenated) 1933 Battersea
Power Station by the river in the
southwest is a local landmark, whilst
some railway termini are excellent
examples of Victorian architecture, most
notably St Pancras and Paddington (at
least internally). London County Council
was responsible for public housing
projects such as the Edwardian Bourne
Estate in Holborn.
Several monuments pay homage to
people and events in the city. The
Monument in the City of London
provides views of the surrounding area
whilst commemorating the Great Fire of
London which originated nearby. Marble
Arch and Wellington Arch , at the north
and south ends of Park Lane respectively,
have royal connections, as do the Albert
Memorial and Royal Albert Hall in
Kensington. Nelson's Column is a
nationally recognised monument in
Trafalgar Square , providing a focal point
for the whole central area.

No comments:

Post a Comment