Between 1962 and 1976, the City of London saw the creation of an entirely new – in every sense – district to the north of St Paul’s. Replacing the acres of destruction left by the Blitz, an arrow-straight length of dual carriageway was driven across the now-bare land and six great towers arose around it. Their strict rectilinearity and geometrical layout were however copied directly from Stockholm’s post-war Hötorgscity scheme in the very centre of that city; these recent images show the variety and conformity that was achieved in Sweden, and the clear similarity with London Wall.

From Stockholm to the Square Mile: Hötorgscity

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Looking north, note the offset of each tower and the differing colour palettes used. Ground floors are also different, with for example variants in piloti shape and colour. Stairs handle the complex togography of roads, walkways and terraces. Squares between the towers are now glazed over but the superb spiral stair appears original. The entire development is far more lively than London Wall today, as animated with people and movement and colour as the British iteration might have been had the City's high-level walkway system functioned as intended and indeed been completed.

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Posted 20 February 2013

 

Photographs taken summer 2012

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Chris Rogers  |  Writer on architecture and visual culture