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General Post Office (BT) Tower
Galwey Arphot Download Original
- Begun: 1961
- Completed: 1964
- Sector: Office
- Total cost: £2.5M
- Address: 60 Cleveland Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 4JZ, United Kingdom
Tower to support sensitive radio-telephonic aerials built on a restricted site in central London as a major feature in the city's skyline
The 189m tower (now known as the BT Tower) was commissioned by the General Post Office (GPO) to support the microwave aerials then used to carry telecommunications traffic from London to the rest of the country.
The tower was designed by the architects of the Ministry of Public Building and Works: the chief architects were Eric Bedford and G. R. Yeats. Typical for its time, the building is concrete clad in glass. The narrow cylindrical shape was chosen because of the requirements of the communications aerials.
The first 16 floors house technical equipment and power, above that is a 35m section for the microwave aerials, and above that are six floors of suites, kitchens, technical equipment and finally a cantilevered steel lattice tower. To prevent heat build-up the glass cladding has a special tint.
The tower was originally designed to be just 111 metres tall. The foundations are sunk down through 53 metres of London clay.