The Royal Festival Hall is part of the South Bank Centre arts complex in Southwark. It was the London County Council (L.C.C) contribution to the 1951 Festival of Britain. It was designed by Leslie Martin, Robert Matthew and Peter Moro from the L.C.C's Architects' Department. Martin called the structure an 'egg in a box'.
The Royal Festival Hall officially opened on 3 May 1951. It was the first major public building to be constructed in London after the Second World War. The only permanent Festival structure, the hall became a Grade I listed building in April 1988. It was the first post-war building to achieve this protected status.
Centre Point stands on New Oxford Street. Designed by Richard Seifert and completed in 1966, it was one of London's first skyscrapers at 117 metres (385 feet) high.
The building remained empty for many years. Its owner, property tycoon Harry Hyams, wanted to lease the entire building to a single tenant rather than rent single floors to many tenants. Partly because of this, Centre Point came to represent property industry greed. Conspiracy theories speculated that the government was secretly paying Hyams to keep the building vacant for its own covert purposes.
In 1974, homeless campaigners occupied the building to protest that it should be used to help London's housing crisis. The two-day action inspired the housing charity Centrepoint, which took its name from the building.
Centre Point was the headquarters of the Confederation of British Industry from 1980. In 1995, it became a Grade II listed building.
Tower 42 (formerly the NatWest Tower) was originally built on Old Broad Street for the National Westminster Bank. From above, it closely resembles the NatWest logo. Designed by Richard Seifert, Tower 42 was officially opened in 1980. On completion, it was the world's tallest cantilevered building. At 183 metres (600 feet) high, it was the tallest building in the United Kingdom until the construction of One Canada Square in 1991.
One Canada Square (Canary Wharf Tower) is the tallest building in London and the tallest habitable building in the United Kingdom. At 235 metres (771 feet), it was briefly Europe's tallest building until the construction of Messe Turm in Frankfurt. Designed by American architect Cesar Pelli and completed in 1991, One Canada Square has been described as 'a monument to 1980s-style capitalism'.
One Canada Square is named after the country, having been built by the Canadian-based international property development firm Olympia and York. It is also known as the Canary Wharf Tower, after the Canary Wharf business complex it dominates.
Acclaimed for its daring and innovative architecture, 30 St Mary Axe is widely known as The Gherkin. Commissioned by Swiss Re, the building was designed by Pritzker prizewinner Sir Norman Foster and Ken Shuttleworth. It officially opened on 25 May 2004.
At 180 metres (590 feet) tall, The Gherkin bulges slightly from its base before reaching its maximum width at the 16th floor. The outside of the building consists of 24,000 square metres of glass arranged in diamond-shaped panes.
The Gherkin is London's tall building built with ecological principles in mind. Energy-saving features allow it to use only half the power a similar sized building would use.
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