The Shard from Wykeham House, Union Street, SE1

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A bit of Wykeham House is on the right. It’s a brick built, Art Deco type building. I was sitting on the steps of the flats, behind the iron railing. Twice during my drawing, residents edged past me, very politely, trying not to disturb me.

On an adjacent building, Waynfleet House,  I saw a notice:

“This tablet commemorates the official opening of these buildings by
THE RT REV RICHAD GODFREY PARSONS the Lord Bishop of Southwark
on Saturday 14th May 1938.”

The badge was that of the “Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England”.

In the Southwark Council publication “South of Union Street and North of Borough Road Character Area Appraisal 2007” I read that:

“There are a number of sites which contribute poorly to the character and appearance of the area and the historic environment. As such it is recommended that they be nominated for re-development”.

Wykeham House and its neighbours is so listed. The group is also excluded from the “Union Street Conservation Area” currently on the Southwark Council Website.

This is a pity, in my view. They have these lovely curved bricks which I have tried to draw, and represent this period of architecture well.

From Oxo Tower Wharf, SE1

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On the right, Bargehouse Oxo, with all those colours in the brickwork of the wall.
Ahead, “Sea Containers House” 22 Upper Ground SE1.
This is now a luxury hotel “Mondrian” and office space.

Rising above them, the tower block is One Blackfriars, under construction.

Drawn from outdoors balcony on the first floor of the Oxo Tower, about one and a half hours, drawn and coloured on location.

When I was selling software services to Central Government, in the 1980s, I visited Sea Containers House. It was then the headquarters of Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise. The story was that they had accepted this rather swanky hotel in lieu of VAT payment. At that time, the smart offices seemed to have landed from another planet into dilapidated former docks. I picked my way on wooden boards over mud, taking care of my smart shoes. On the door was an officer in a starched shirt, and gold epaulettes.

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Sea Containers House, about 2010

In 2011 Sea Containers House was renovated, and has only recently been completed. The Golden Balls on the river side were removed, and sold.

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Sea Containers House 2017 – minus the decorative golden globes

 

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Golden balls from Sea Containers House, on sale now for £3950
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The smaller globes have already been sold.