London Festival of Architecture: Capital Views!

Wednesday 4 June 2014

Tall Building Tours

© Agnese Sanvito

London Festival of Architecture: Capital Views!
Wednesday 4 June, tours taking place between 14:30-18:30

As part of London Festival of Architecture and NLA exhibition, London's Growing Up! some of London's tallest buildings are opening up to the public for one afternoon. A unique opportunity to gain insight into the history, design and construciton of these buildings, you will hear from the key people directly involved in each project. An exclusive tour of the buidling will culminate in a capital view!

Please see individual tour descriptions below for further details. Each ticket costs £12.00 inclusive of VAT. Student concessions are available. Prebooking is essential.

Capital View: Heron Tower 
17:00-18:30 (meet at 16:50)
Meeting point: main reception, Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

Hosted by Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), ARUP and Heron International, the building tour will be led by KPF’s Paul Simovic and Dennis Hill, and Arup’s Steve McKechnie and Mick White.
Completed in 2011, Heron Tower is a 230m, 46 storey building designed primarily for office use. As well as offering flexible and efficient office space of the highest quality, the building quickly established a public profile thanks to its high-level bars and restaurants, which offer generous views of London’s skyline. The building’s innovative design and structural engineering is the result of a collaboration between two leaders in tall building design, KPF and Arup. 

Capital View: The Willis Building
14:30-15:30 (meet at 14:20) and 15:30-16:30 (meet at 15:20)
Meeting point: main reception, The Willis Building, 51 Lime Street, London, EC3M 7DQ

Hosted by Foster+Partners, the building tour will be led by Ian Whitby, Senior Partner at Foster+Partners
At its completion in 2007, The Willis Building’s 410-foot height made it the fourth tallest building in the City. The development comprises two separate buildings which step down to a public plaza. Located to the east of the Lloyds Building, the 10-storey building at 1 Fenchurch Street responds to the smaller scale of Billiter Street and Fenchurch Avenue, while the 29-storey Willis headquarters building rises to the west of the site. The smaller building’s concave façade shapes the plaza and its curved corners maintain important view corridors, as well as reinstating an historic route through the site. A fringe of shops, cafés and bars at its base together with linear seating and landscaping, combine to enhance the public realm.

Capital View: Centre Point
14:30-16:30 (meet at 14:20)
Meeting point: main reception, Centre Point, New Oxford St, London WC1A

This tour will be led by Geoff Taylor, project director of Almacantar, Gavin Miller of Rick Mather Architects and Tim Bowder-Ridger of Conran and Partners.
Designed by Colonel Seifert and completed in 1966, Centre Point embodied the growing confidence of the 1960s, as Britain emerged from post-war depression. Later, it gained unwelcome ‘white elephant’ status, as it remained partially empty and cut off by the busy gyratory system that was formative in its creation. Centre Point, which was granted listed building status in 1995, has received planning permission for a transformation by Rick Mather Architects and Conran and Partners who will revive its sixties design appeal.

Capital View: Balfron Tower
In association with London Urban Visits
14:30-16:30 (meet at 14:20)
Meeting point: Langdon Park DLR (east side)

Designed by Erno Goldfinger and constructed in 1965-7, this tower of 27 storeys received Grade II listing status in 1996 and offers great views over the City, Canary Wharf, and east London. Join this tour, hosted by Ralph Ward and Michael Owens of London Urban Visits, and discover the changing environment in which it lies. This is one of a series of urban events being arranged in Balfron Tower over the summer by Bow Arts Trust and London Urban Visits to explore the visions and realities of post Olympic development in East London.

Capital View: 30 St Mary Axe, 'The Gherkin'
14:30-16:00 (meet at 14:20)
Meeting point: Plaza, 30 St. Mary Axe, London, EC3A 8EP
Hosted by Searcys The Gherkin, Swiss Re, and Robin Partington & Partners, this building tour will be led by the 'Gherkin Guru' Tee Dobinson, Robin Partington and Sara Fox, Swiss Re project director of the building phase.
30 St Mary Axe, widely known as 'The Gherkin' is situated on the former site of The Baltic Exchange. On completion in 2003 it was the first new tall building in the City of London for 30 years. At 180 metres it is now the third tallest building in the City of London. There are six light wells spiralling through the building which features 33 floors office floors and a social space for tenants.  Developed by Foster + Partners with structural engineering by Arup, the building won The Stirling Prize in 2004, the first project to achieve a unanimous vote by the judges. Original owners Swiss Re sold the building in 2007. This tour includes a very rare visit to one of the interior light wells as well as a visit to the glorious glass dome at the top of the building with 360˚ views across the capital.
ID required to enter the building, no exchange of guests.


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