Bastion House aka 140 London Wall is a huge modernist monolith, reminiscent of the monolith in “2001 – A Space Odyssey”. I couldn’t find a site to draw the monolith part today, so here is a view at Podium Level, looking West towards the Museum of London.
You see the dark undercroft, walkways and a road to a car park. Also you see the bridge that crosses London Wall.
http://postwarbuildings.com describes it thus:
“London Wall was part of a movement of amazing optimism and faith in the ideology of architectural modernism and its promise of a new built form for the city following the devastation of the blitz. It demonstrates what was possible within the breadth of vision following the Second World War and the new powers of centralised planning control. The London that emerged from the ruins of war was to be the remedy to the haphazard milieu of previous. London Wall emerged as a segment of architectural clarity, symbolic of the efforts of the public body to exercise control over the built environment and crucially attempts on the private sector.”
Architects: Powell and Moya, 1972
Here are some images of the monolith in the film “2001 – A Space Odyssey” (1968) which surely influenced, or was influenced by, architecture of the period.
I recently learned that Bastion House is going to be demolished, along with the Museum of London which is adjacent. That’s why I rushed out to draw it. The building is not listed. Here is the “immunity” listing, which is the reverse of a listing:
downloaded from: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1427161
I drew Bastion House from a very convenient ledge behind an iron gate. About an hour and 20mins.
Here is a drawing of the Museum of London which I did last year:
Bastion House is just off to the right.
I sketched this after a visit to Salters Hall as part of “Open House London”.
Salters Hall is one of the London Livery companies, very ancient. The building was completed in 1976 to the designs of Sir Basil Spence. It was refurbished, with substantial alterations, in 2014. The architects for the alterations were de Metz Forbes Knight. There is a new entrance pavilion added on the East side, and they filled in the “undercroft” or open area that had been created by the 1970s architect. The Hall is off the drawing, to the left. I shall return to draw it.
The garden is open to the public. It will be even more accessible and obvious once the London Wall Place development is done.
No. 1 London Wall Place is in the back of the drawing. It is a development by Brookfields, The original Roman London wall is on the right, partly covered in scaffolding and plastic sheeting.
“London Wall Place is a 500,000 sq ft scheme designed by MAKE” says the website.
I have previously drawn the new bridge across Wood Street, which is part of this development.
I have a project to draw all the towers I can see from my window. These are the towers of Finsbury, Hackney and Camden in North London.
To identify the Towers, I made an etching of the sky line. This is the view from my window. I look North.
This is an aquatint, made at East London Printmakers. Later I am going to put all the names on.
Here’s an earlier stage of the same picture. This is the hard ground etching.
This is Charbonnel Doux printing ink on Fabriano Unica Printing Paper from Great Art. Copper plate etched in Edinburgh etch for 25 minutes.
Peabody Tower, 13 floors, 52 flats, is part of the “Roscoe Street Estate”. It was completed in 1959. The architects were John Grey and Partners.
A very interesting history of the Estate was done in 2010 by Publica. Their report is here:
In the foreground is the first-floor playground of the Prior Western Primary School. The building in red brick is Fortune House, built at the same time as Peabody Tower, although it looks very different.
This drawing took 1hr45min. Done from the podium next to Breton House.
This sketch shows the new “Fleet Building” under construction on the Farringdon Road, towering over the quaint Vicarage and Court House of St Andrews Holborn.
The Vicarage and Court House are Victorian, designed by Samuel Teulon as part of the remodelling of St Andrews to accommodate the Holborn Viaduct, 1860s and 70s. Notices on the gate announce the St Andrews Church Foundation and Associated Charities. The Court House is the building with the turret, No 7 St Andrews Street. It just has a large “7” on the door.
The pinkish coloured building on the right is currently the offices of “Rosenblatt” and “Convex Capital.”
The Fleet Building is designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates. It is Goldman Sachs’ “840 000 sq ft London campus”. To build it they demolished the old Telephone exchange. The murals by Dorothy Annan that were on the Telephone Exchange are now in the Barbican.
An article in a property magazine “CoStar” dated 4 Jan 2013 reads:
Goldman’s plans previously suffered a setback when the government gave Grade II listed status to 1960s murals on the front of Fleet Building, which used to be London’s largest telephone exchange.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport followed advice from English Heritage that the nine ceramic tile murals by Dorothy Annan, which depict pylons, cables, telegraph poles and generators, were of “historic interest” to the telecoms industry and had “relative rarity as surviving works of 1960s mural art”.
Goldman had opposed the listing of the murals and relocating them could be costly and time-consuming. However, as part of the conditions of the planning consent, Goldman must meet all “reasonable costs” incurred with their removal.
About 1 hour. Drawn and coloured on location. Very hot sun. Atmosphere of vanilla scented Vape Cloud. Fire alarm on Lloyds Bank ticking intermittantly.
This is from a doorway on Pensioners’ Court, which is the court beyond Preacher’s Court. The Building with the four archways is part of the Brothers’ realm: the infirmary above and the coffee room below. I don’t know what the turret is, very intriguing.
The gardens were magnificent. In front of me was that huge magnolia tree. It moved in the wind and contained darkness much darker than I have drawn it.
I enjoyed the two towers: Barbican and Charterhouse, and the way the view was bracketed by the tree on the right and the lamp-post on the left.
One hour 45 minutes, drawn and coloured on location. The day was overcast and threatened rain. Round me, a gardener was watering the borders.
It should be “Pensioners’” court (plural).
Those chimneys are hard to draw. They are not simple rectangles, but a complicated geometric shape, a square put at an angle to another square, difficult to see in the light and shadow.
The crest of the roof is not straight. It goes downwards at quite an alarming angle, as drawn. The windows are not in a straight line with each other, which makes me wonder exactly where the floor is, inside.
I drew this from under the shade of the new building, the “Admiral Ashmore Building”. While I was drawing, the gardeners were making the window boxes, and crushed the geranium leaves. The place smelt of geranium, and earth and water.
I like it that you can see the Barbican towers beyond. I made this observation to a Brother who paused to chat. He told me that these brutalist towers are not popular with certain of the Brothers. They have identified a place in the garden where you can sit, so that the towers are obscured by a tree.
About 2 hours (those chimneys!!), drawn and coloured on location.
Here is what it looked like before the colour went on: