The Watchtower Building

Acanthus LW Architects, Collingdale, London, 2010


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Elevation to the airfield 

Acanthus LW Architects (website)     Download Original

  • Elevation to the airfield    
  • The Watchtower building    
  • The new canopy matching the original design and from the original supplier    
  • Claude Grahame-Whites office as restored in 2010    
  • The original steel frame restored    
  • The original stair following repair    
  • The original electrical switch display cupboard    
  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Second floor, tower and roof plans    
  • Sections A-A, B-B and C-C    
  • Section D-D and E-E    
  • South and north elevation    
  • Grahame White office - section and elevations    
  • Grahame White office - section and elevations    
  • Claude Grahame-Whites office as built in  1916    
  • Claude Grahame Whites-office as found in 2009    
  • The Watchtower building prior to dismantling    
  • Balustrade details    

Removal and reconstruction of a listed 1915 building that formed part of the Hendon London Aerodrome

Formed of an office, drawing office and watchtower, the building sat at the centre of a complex that Claude Grahame White intended to become the country’s principal airport.

The building was listed and was therefore recorded and a conditions schedule of the remaining elements carried out prior to its demolition. The building was then reconstructed 200m away within the RAF museum grounds, adjacent to a previously relocated original hanger building.

The reconstruction restored and reinstated many of the original components including the original steel frame to the rear, most internal and external joinery and fenestration and the external stone detailing.

A number of components lost over time were reconstructed to their original design based on photographic information only, including the watchtower itself, Claude Grahame White’s office & the glazed balcony canopy.


  • Begun: Feb 2010
  • Completed: Dec 2010
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £1.5M
  • Procurement: Design and build type contract
  • Address: RAF Museum London
, Grahame Park Way
, Collingdale, London, NW9 5LL, United Kingdom

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