Guildhall North Wing

From the site of the former St Mary Aldermanbury, I looked across towards the Guildhall, the offices of the City of London.

Guildhall North Wing, 7″ x 10″, in Sketchbook 9. 19 March 2021

It is dark and green in the former Nave of the church, whose pillars you can see on the right. The stones are covered in moss, which is almost phosphorescent.

The North Wing of the Guildhall was designed by Giles Gilbert-Scott2 in the 1930s and built in the 1950s. He also designed the red telephone kiosks, Battersea Power Station and Cambridge University Library.

The North Wing, and the area to the North of it, were redeveloped in the period 2002 – 2016 at a total cost of £112.6M1 . The architects were TP Bennett. They comment on their website:

The street entrance was lowered to give step-free access from the lowered landscaped piazza, and the two confusing entry points were replaced by one entrance anchored by a lively reception area, now the main business hub for the City of London.
Internally, cellular offices and gloomy corridors – unchanged since the 1950s – were refitted to offer more open-plan accommodation and social space, as well as extra accommodation at rooftop level. The familiar front entrance façade was retained but the internal elevation facing the Great Hall was removed and the building extended, re-glazed and given scenic lifts, offering good views over a landscaped courtyard and the Great Hall itself. Enhancing the City’s new agenda of openness and accessibility, the North Wing’s refurbishment has invigorated the Guildhall campus.

The area North of the Guildhall is flat and has a variety of obstacles and inclines, which make it an ideal venue for skateboarders.

I have described the site of St Mary Aldermanbury in a previous post. Here are maps:

In the corner of the site, where Aldermanbury meets Love Lane, there is a drinking fountain. Miraculously, this one still has the drinking cup on a chain. There is, however, no water.

The inscription is worn and hard to decipher. I could make out this:

"November 1890
The Gift of Robert ROGERSESO(N?)
Deputy of the Ward of the Parish of 
S Mary Aldermanbury"

This drawing took about 45minutes on location and half an hour finishing off at my desk. The colours are Green Gold (DS), Green Apatite Genuine (DS) Burnt Umber (Jacksons), Prussian Blue (DS), Permanent Yellow Deep (DS) and Perylene Maroon (DS). Here are pictures of work in progress:

Here in another drawing in the area:

NOTES

1 Guildhall redevelopment 2002-2016

These dates and the cost of £112.6M are from a paper dated 21st April 2016, a concluding report of the Guildhall Improvement Committee. The paper was on this link: https://democracy.cityoflondon.gov.uk/documents/s63283/ITEM%2021%20-%20GIC%20-%20Closure.pdf

It can be downloaded from that link, or if not available there, try this link:

2 Giles Gilbert-Scott

Giles is the third in a line of architects. His son Richard followed him into the profession. From father to son here is the line:

  • George Gilbert-Scott (1811-78) – Albert Memorial, Midland Hotel, St Pancras Station
  • George Gilbert-Scott Junior (1839-1897)- St Agnes Kennington, [In 1884, he was declared ‘of unsound mind’]
  • Giles Gilbert-Scott (1880-1960) – Guildhall North Wing, Battersea Power Station, Telephone Kiosk, LMH Chapel, Bankside Power Station (=Tate Modern), Cambridge University Library, Cropthorne Court (Maida Vale)
  • Richard Gilbert-Scott (1923-2017) Guildhall Art Gallery, Guildhall Library

Giles Gilbert-Scott’s brother, Adrian Gilbert-Scott (1882-1963), was also an architect. He designed St Joseph’s Catholic Church in the Lansbury Estate in Poplar, East London.

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