This panorama shows one of the most striking skylines of London. In the panoramic image is the City Hall, but more famous is the outline of Tower Bridge spanning the River Thames. The panoramic images were shot near to the 'Scoop', a new open air exhibition and performance arts space next to the GLA HQ.
City Hall - Greater London Authority - London visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'City Hall - Greater London Authority' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Greater London.
City Hall is the official home of the Greater London Authority. It is found on the south side of the Thames between London Bridge and Tower Bridge next to the More London Development. It is just a little way downriver from HMS Belfast and opposite the Tower of London (free entry to all of these attractions with the London Pass). City Hall is new and was opened in 2002. It has a very unusual shape, like a squashed glass sphere overlooking the Thames, intended in part to increase energy efficiency as well as to provide a striking landmark.
Not everyone appreciated the design of City Hall, and it has, at various times, been likened to Darth Vader's helmet, a misshapen egg, a woodlouse or a motorcycle helmet. The first occupant, London Mayor Ken Livingstone, must have surely come up with the best, calling it a "glass testicle". In fact City Hall is not owned by the GLA, but is rented on a 25 year lease (at an annual cost of £36.50 per square foot).
Next to the City Hall is The Scoop. This sunken oval area is used for outdoor displays during the summer. The area also give good views of the surrounding areas along the Thames and over towards the City of London. The Hays Gallery is just past HMS Belfast upriver, and just past Tower Bridge on the same side is the Design Museum. Also nearby you will find the London Dungeon, and Churchill's London at War exhibition.
The interior of City Hall is a 42m high, 10 storey building. Every one of the 3,844 glass panels that make up City Hall is unique and was cut by laser. Norman Foster, one of the principal architects, installed a spiral ramp that allows the public to walk above the debating chamber, a concept first used in Berlin's Reichstagsgebäude. (Again in a possible farce, this ramp has been likened to that in the penguin enclosure of London Zoo.). The top storey, referred to as 'London's living room', leads out onto a balcony with a 360˚ panoramic view of the city.
Those interested in visiting City Hall should check the Greater London Authority website for details.
Greater London Authority,
The Queen's Walk,
More London, London SE1 2AA
City Hall Website
Tube: Tower Hill (Circle, District lines, Docklands Light Railway / DLR), London Bridge (Jubilee, Northern lines).