Monday, 28 December 2020

CAKE AND STEEL Discovering London


Richard Roger's inside out
James Stirling's cake mix

Another trip into London (pre T4 lockdown) in furtherance of my autodidact approach to modern architecture; two buildings were on the menu.


First was No1 Poultry, across from the Royal Exchange and looking like a nice slice of Battenberg cake, then onto Lloyds of LondonThis second stop looked like something from Asimov’s Caves of Steel, published in Galaxy Magazine thirty three years before the building was completed in 1986.


No 1Poultry, this was a triumph of tenancy; Peter Palumbo tried for twenty-five years to develop this site. He finally got the go ahead for architects Stirling and Wilford to build an obsessively decorated post-modern confection. Sadly James Stirling (Tate Britain, Clore Galleries extension and the Neue Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart) died before No.1 Poultry was completed five years later.


Lloyds of London, the inside out building, was the triumph of Richard Rogers. It took eight years to build which is quite a long time by standards of the day. One architect friend commented, “They were probably making it up as they went along”.


Standing across the street and looking up at the Lloyds Building is an exciting prospect.  It has been the location for sixteen films including Guardians of the Galaxy (2014).



Architecture fiends and building crawlers should download the an app called London Architecture Guide from it is simple to use and reaches out to outskirts of the city. Great for planning a tour of if you find yourself with a little time to mooch around just tap current location!

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Thank you very much for your comments - Tim