Guided Tours - Walking Tours - Sightseeing by Coach - Architectural Tours - Specialist Tours

Architectural Tours

Your tour guide is a qualified Residential Surveyor and Blue Badge Guide with a long-standing interest in architecture, regeneration and the built environment.  Let me bring the buildings alive in an entertaining and informative manner.  Here are a few ideas....

 

Docklands & Canary Wharf - a new city out East.

Our tour will take us East to London's old docks.  The port was heavily damaged during the Second World War and the decline continued into the 1960s.  Deserted, but central, the area was ripe for redevelopment.

A building boom followed in the 80s and 90s and construction continues today.  Old warehouses have been converted into upmarket flats, former habours were turned into elegant marinas and jobs created in new office and retail developments.

Docklands is now home to Britain's tallest building (Cesar Pelli) and Europe's largest underground station (Norman Foster).  Our walk will take us through the successful Canary Wharf estate and we will take a look at planned future developments in the area, incl. the Olympics.

 

The Architecture of Norman Foster

On this tour we will dedicate a whole morning (or afternoon) to the most famous living British architect.  Love him or hate him - he has had a major impact on London's skyline.

Using public transport (or private coach) we will visit his most iconic masterpieces. These include the British Museum Great Court, Millennium Bridge, Gherkin and Canary Wharf Underground Station.

 

City and South Bank

The millennium was celebrated with a massive investment in cultural projects as well as the regeneration of older buildings.  The old South Bank power station stood empty for many years but thanks to a grant from the Lottery Commission and the skills of Swiss architects (Herzog de Meuron) a new art gallery, Tate Modern, was created within this former industrial building.  The development was complimented by the adjacent Millennium Bridge which connects Tate Modern to St. Paul's Cathedral on the North Bank.

Our tour continues across the bridge through the City of London, home to more than 540 banks and countless buildings of architectural interest - dating from Roman times till today.  The industrial looking Lloyds Building (Richard Rogers) competes for attention with The Gherkin and the Wallis Building (both Norman Foster).

Below these iconic buildings we will explore the old City lanes and markets which have so often featured in films, including Harry Potter.  The relationship between the traditional City architecture and the new and bold office developments has long been a difficult issue, especially next to St. Paul's Cathedral.  We will take a look at the hotly debated Paternoster Sqaure.  Opinions are divided; pastiche or respectful to the surroundings?  You decide....

 

 The History of Domestic Architecture

A gentle walk through the history of domestic architecture from 1800 till today.  The grand town planning of Marylebone's terraces and garden squares sought to emulate the country lifestyle.  The domestic setting got even grander in John Nash's Regent's Park development - for those who could afford it....

19th century social reformers realized the effects of poor housing and we will explore progressive working class housing as pioneered by Octovia Hill and George Peabody around Lisson Grove.  Our walk will eventually lead us to the Paddington Basin where recent domestic architecture will bring us right up to date.