4 Cannon Street-Roman, German, Wren, modern

On Wed 24th Feb 2016 at 11:30 we will be meeting at the Cannon Street entrance to Cannon Street Station

Send Natalie an email if you will be coming so that we know whom to expect.

I have found a very useful web site


I wish I had found the site before we visited the Walkie Talkie building.  All the modern buildings I have looked up to date have been steel buildings, and the site has interesting articles on the problems each site posed and the solutions the architects and structural engineers came up with.

Cannon Street station, The Wallbrook building and 60 Victoria Street all have interesting entries on the site.

Cannon Street Station and Steelyard


Lübeck, Bremen and Hamburg only sold their common property, the London Steelyard, to the South Eastern Railway in 1852.[5]Cannon Street station was built on the site and opened in 1866.


Before the present building there was an hotel which was badly damaged in the war.  Two towers are all that remain of that traditional building.  The next development involved the corrupt architect John Poulson.  It was a boring glass box.   The present development is designed by Foggo Associates. It won the award for “Large Station of the Year” at the 2013 National Rail Awards.

http://foggo.com/portfolio/ lists other developments including

  • 111 Old Broad Street (1998)
  • 131 Finsbury Pavement (1999)
  • 60 Queen Victoria Street (1999)
  • 280 Bishopsgate (2001)
  • 25 Moorgate (2002)
  • Caxton Hall (2004)
  • Drapers Gardens (2009)
  • 60-70 St Mary Axe  (Planning Approval)
  • Cannon Sreet Station (2011)
  • Cannon Place (2011)
  • Table (2012)

Note the large gap between completed projects

London Stone

In 211 Cannon Street we see the London Stone. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Stone

80 Cannon Street

At first glance 80 Cannon Street looks similar to the neighbouring station, but it was completed in 1976.  According to the Skyscrapernew.com site the exoskeleton is made of pipes designed to carry water to cool the building if there was a fire.  This is an idea which never caught on.  The steel exoskeleton means that the building has no internal columns. When the building was being planned it was thought that the proposed Jubilee line would go under it, and Arups designed the building to take that into account.


The Wallbrook Building
2011, Fosters

has lots of links which explain the construction of the building.  I hope to read them before the outing.


is a short video explaining why the building is a steel building.

Other links are




To read about other buildings eg 20 Fenchurch Street, I have to register with bdonline  http://www.bdonline.co.uk/register?origin=RegBarrier


St Stephens Walbrook

This is the best Wren Church.  It was the church in which he worshipped.  With its dome it is like a miniature St Pauls.  We can slip it in as modern because it has an altar made by Henry Moore.  Chad Varah founded The Samaritans when he was the priest at St Stephens.  The church also contains lovely furniture designed by Chad’s son Andrew.



Behind St Stephens we see the back of Rothchilds’ headquarters New Court.






Meeting 2 – The Walkie Talkie

On 27th January 2016 10 members visited the Sky Garden in the Walkie Talkie building, 20 Fenchurch Street.

The Sky Garden Web site is http://skygarden.london/


The weather was not great, so we were not able to go onto the terrace.  This restricted our view of the south bank of the Thames.

Along the south bank we identified the City Hall and the surrounding More London development (Norman Foster and Ken Shuttleworth). Ed has agreed to do some research on the city hall.

In the distance we had a clear view of the Electric Razor Building – Strata Tower, the tallest residential tower in London with 3 large wind turbines in the roof.  Richard said he had heard that the turbines don’t work. http://www.urban75.org/blog/the-rarely-spinning-turbines-of-the-strata-tower-south-london/ gives more details about why this building does not work.  On the other hand Wikipedia indicates that the building has won loads of awards.  We should obviously find out more about Strata Tower, though Elephant and Castle probably won’t be high on the list of places we want to visit.

The Shard (completed in 2013) is the most prominent building on the south bank.  Its pointed design could not be more unlike the top heavy design of the Walkie Talkie we were standing in. The Shard is designed by Renzio Piano who is also responsible for a very different development to the south east of Tottenham Court Station, and who is proposing a cylindrical development at Paddington.

(I was going to use “different” rather than “unlike” in the above paragraph but could not decide which preposition to use.  An interesting article on “different” is http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2014/01/different-from-than-to/ )



The Postcode of 20 Fenchurch Street is OL9 6AA.

If you are coming from Fenchurch Street Station turn left when you get to Fenchurch Street, and number 20 is about 4 or 5 blocks to the west.

Liverpool Street station is to the west of Bishopsgate, so when coming from Liverpool Street station turn right into Bishopsgate.  Bishopsgate leads into Gracechurch Street.  Continue along Gracechurch Street for 2 blocks and turn left into Fenchurch Street.  Google said that it is a 10 minute walk from Liverpool Street Station, but I have a short stride so it actually took me 20 minutes.

The entrance for the Sky Garden is at the back of the building.

The walk from Liverpool Street stations passes near several interesting buildings, so we could have another excursion in that area.

Natalie’s Notes

From the Sky Garden in the Walkie Talkie one has a wonderful view of the Shard, a completely different skyscraper. We are in a building which bulges because the rent charged for office spaces increases the higher up one goes, and we are looking at a pointy building which has offices underneath an hotel, with flats at the top.

Query:- Which building gives the developers a better return?

The building was designed by the Uragy Designed by world-renowned architect Rafael Viñoly.

Rafael Viñoly Beceiro is an Uruguayan architect. He is the principal of Rafael Viñoly Architects, which he founded in 1983 and has offices in New York, Palo Alto, London, Manchester, Abu Dhabi and Buenos Aires.


The Modern London group of the Havering U3A will meet on the first and fourth Wednesdays each month.

On the 4th Wednesday the group will explore London, taking advantage of our free London passes.

On the first Wednesday in the month the group will meet at the home of Natalie Kehr at 2:30 p.m. where we will exchange information about modern London and plan future excursions.

Members who want to do research in a communal setting will also be welcome to come to the computer club which meets every Saturday morning during term time between 9:30 and 11:30 at the Havering 6th Form College in Wingletye Lane.

If possible, all members will help make this WordPress site a great resource.  At the minimum it will contain links to interesting sites.