Many of London's now iconic buildings were constructed in the first half of the 20th century.
County Hall stands on Westminster Bridge Road. It is the former headquarters of the London County Council and later the Greater London Council (G.L.C). Ralph Knott designed the main building in an Edwardian baroque style. Construction started in 1911 and King George V and Queen Mary opened the building in 1922. The North, South and Island buildings were completed later: the last in 1974.
By the end of the 20th century, County Hall was a Grade II listed building. It housed the Saatchi Gallery, Dali Universe and the London Aquarium as well as hotels, restaurants and residential housing.
The building beneath the Oxo Tower on Barge House Street in Southwark was originally a late 19th-century small power station. The Liebig Extract of Meat Company, manufacturers of Oxo stock cubes, bought the building in the late 1920s. The building was largely reconstructed to an Art Deco-style design between 1928 and 29. Company architect Albert W Moore used clever window placement to incorporate the word OXO into its tower design, thereby circumventing a council rule prohibiting large-scale advertising.
The Oxo Tower was abandoned by the 1970s and threatened with demolition, but then saved by a community campaign in 1984. It reopened in 1996 after extensive refurbishment that created residential housing, a restaurant, shops and an exhibition space.
Adelaide House stands in the City of London at the northeast end of London Bridge. Completed in 1925, Adelaide House replaced an older building of the same name that was demolished in 1920. At 45 metres (148 feet), the new building was then the tallest in London. Its architect, John Burnet, broke away from conventional classical design, incorporating a Chicago style with Egyptian finishes as well as many features new to 1920s London. These included air conditioning, an internal mail system and a rooftop golf course.
Broadcasting House stands on Portland Place. Designed by G Val Myer and built in 1932, it was the B.B.C's first purpose-built home for radio broadcasting. Myer adapted his original plan after local residents complained that the building would significantly reduce their light. As a result, it is symmetrical up to the sixth floor, then slopes backwards through the remaining three storeys.
With its accentuated front section bearing a clock tower and aerial mast, the building has been compared to a ship. The 1932 Architectural Review described it as the 'new Tower of London'.
Broadcasting House was badly damaged during the Second World War. The B.B.C's foreign language broadcasting service was subsequently relocated to Bush House.
Broadcasting House continues to be the B.B.C's main London broadcasting centre.
The London Power Company commissioned architect and industrial designer Sir Giles Gilbert Scott to design Battersea Power Station in the late 1920s. Other Scott designs include Bankside Power Station (now the Tate Modern) and the iconic red telephone box.
Construction on Station A started in 1929 and was completed a decade later. However, it was only with the completion of Station B in 1953 that Battersea gained its now well-known four-chimney silhouette.
With its steel girder frame clad in exterior bricks, Battersea Power Station is the largest brick building in Europe. By the end of the 20th century, it was being transformed into a new entertainment, events, cultural, and commercial complex.
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