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Report - The Heron crane, London, May 2011

Discussion in 'High Stuff' started by kevin arnold, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. kevin arnold

    kevin arnold 28DL Member
    Regular User

    Apr 22, 2009
    Likes Received:
    The Heron is a 35 floor residential tower block next to the Barbican estate, currently under construction.

    There are three cranes on site now, the tallest one being about 40 floors high. It's a nice location, fairly quiet and relaxed on top, with good views over the City and Barbican estate. I think it's fresh as well, I've not seen any pictures from it, so I'm posting this in private in case more people want to visit. Once it has a proper roof it will probably get even better as rooftops give more photo opportunities than cranes in my opinion.


    I've been keeping an eye on this one for a while now, tracking its rise, wondering whether it makes sense to do it already or if I should wait some more... Recently I was meeting Smalls for some weird 3am reccy and decided that if I already have to wake up at some silly hour I may as well get up a bit earlier and tick this one off. The core has recently reached its full height and the crane is not getting any taller either, so why wait any longer?

    With this thought in mind I arrived in front of the tower at about 1am.


    I knew there was some hoarding around the top of the core and generally expected the views to be quite poor with scaff poles and rebar sticking out everywhere so it had to be the crane or nothing. There's no walkway as such between the crane and the core but looking from the ground you could see they were quite close so I was hoping I'd figure out something.

    A quick look around and I was in, making my way to the staircase. When I had looked at the core earlier I imagined there would be a normal staircase inside. God knows why, as it's obviously not there... At the moment it's basically a lift shaft with a HAKI stair tower in it (much like in Shard). I truly hate these ones as they're always uber noisy. On the other hand I didn't feel like climbing the crane from the very bottom so I proceeded up the steps, trying (with no real results) to keep as quiet as possible.

    After 30-odd floors I hit the roof and took a while to rest and say 'hello' to the crane.


    Fortunately there was a way onto the crane, as I expected. Soon I found myself on top... It was really quiet and chilled out up there. No wind, no seccas or workers in neighbouring buildings, no helicopters overhead and great views all around. What more do you want from a crane exploration? Sadly I didn't have as much time as I'd have wished as I had my 3am meeting. I snapped some pictures. Some of them turned out good, some of them had some really off colours that I couldn't fix in PS for the life of me, so in the end I just monochromed them, heh.

    Barbican estate



    Your standard shot of the City


    City Point in the foreground


    Then a quick visit to crane driver's office. It was really clean and tidy, there was even a brush and a dustpan on the floor. No nude posters.


    A few more shots and it was really time to go. Down the noisy nightmare of a staircase, over the hoarding, on a bicycle, job done.


    Thanks for looking.​

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