No. 136 . 26 February 2003 
ArchitectureWeek
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Foster's New City Hall

by Don Barker

At first glance, you would hardly believe it is a public service building. Looking more like a moon base landing unit than a city hall, the Greater London Authority (GLA) building is the latest addition to London's skyline from the firm of Foster and Partners.

The goal was to create a headquarters building for London's mayor and the GLA that would become a new landmark for the capital. This visionary feat of design and engineering is surrounded by two old stalwarts of London history — the Tower of London and Tower Bridge.

In conventional terms, the building has no front or back. Its shape is derived from a geometrically modified sphere, designed to minimize the surface area exposed to direct sunlight. The north facade, which will receive minimal direct solar heat gain, has unshaded glazing. The south facade inclines so that each floor shades the offices below.   >>>

 

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