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Report - Basil Spence's Tower, London, Apr 2011

Discussion in 'High Stuff' started by kevin arnold, May 14, 2011.

  1. kevin arnold

    kevin arnold 28DL Member
    Regular User

    Apr 22, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Visited with Smalls

    We spotted that one independently... "I found a nice tower block we can do together" he texted me one evening. "would it be hyde park barracks tower?" "Argh! How did you know?!!" Great minds think alike lol

    Smalls has been looking for a long time for a tall place to take pictures of sunrise over Hyde Park from. And I'm generally interested in all things tall and scaffolded and I like brutal architecture. So what better choice for an exploration than a tower block at the edge of Hyde Park.


    The block is scaffolded now so in the above picture you can't see it in all its brutalist glory but Spence's Tower has always been controversial:

    So that's what many people think about Spence's Tower. My personal opinion is best expressed in another quotation I found:

    Nuff said. ;)

    We found ourselves standing at the base of the tower at about 4am, the plan being to get in while it's still dark and wait on the roof for the sunrise. Earlier I was a bit concerned that the soldiers may still be living inside, luckily during an initial recce we figured out that they must have been relocated to somewhere else.

    In we went, ducking and diving and squeezing through gaps to avoid motion detectors located here and there on the scaffolding. Soon we reached the roof.


    I'm going to be honest - the place doesn't offer any spectacular views... Knightsbridge is not the most amazing area of London when seen from up high. The Hilton in Park Lane looked really good but was too far to photograph properly with my lenses.


    But then, I didn't climb that one for epic views, so wasn't really disappointed. I also like rooftops for the "general atmosphere", for the chance to chill out high above the hustle and bustle of a big city.

    I took a few more pics and it was already getting light...


    The sun began to rise in the east, it looked really good between the City's skyscrapers and not for the first time I wished I had a zoom lens to take a proper picture. But I don't, so you just have to believe me it looked great :) I sat back and enjoyed the view.


    Then a few pictures of the roof as it's interesting on its own:



    By that time it was completely bright...


    ...so it was time to go down...


    Not that way obviously ;) We headed down, ducked, dived and squeezed again and Smalls barely avoided being spotted - unexpectedly some guy (looked like an off duty secca going home) walked from round the corner and passed him by no more than 3 meters). LOL. Job done.
    #1 kevin arnold, May 14, 2011
    Last edited: May 14, 2011

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