General Post Office (BT) Tower

Ministry of Public Buildings and Works Architects
London, 1964

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View of tower in context of city 

Galwey Arphot     Download Original

  • View of tower in context of city    
  • View down Mornington Cresent    
  • Existing museum exchange link    
  • The curved bridge deck    
  • View of restaurant floor and aerial galleries from street level    
  • Looking up from street level    
  • View looking towards Fitzroy Square    
  • View from the steps of University College London    
  • View from Primrose Hill    
  • View through Houses of Parliament    
  • View of tower on skyline    
  • View from University College    
  • Mezzanine as seen from Howland street    
  • Base building has a simple treatment    
  • Entrance to the restaurant at ground level    
  • Tiled walls at observation level    
  • Mirrored walls reflect the view in the restaurant    
  • View of inner corridor on observation deck    
  • View of outer corridor on observation deck    
  • Site plan    
  • Plan of ground floor    
  • Plan of foundations showing reinforcements    
  • Plan of one aerial gallery floor    
  • Plan of one lower tower floor    
  • Plan of one upper floor    
  • Plan of ventilation plant    
  • North elevation    
  • Detail of junction  of two reinforced slabs    

Data

  • Begun: 1961
  • Completed: 1964
  • Sector: Office
  • Total cost: £2.5M
  • Address: 60 Cleveland Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 4JZ, United Kingdom

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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.

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