The City of London is a small area in Greater London. The modern conurbation of London developed from the City of London and the nearby City of Westminster, which was the centre of the royal government. The City of London is now London’s main financial district. It is often referred to as just the City or as the Square Mile, as it is approximately one square mile (2.6 square kilometres) in area: note that those terms may also be used as syynonyms for the UK financial services industry which is principally based there. In the middle period the City was synonymous with London, but the latter term is now reserved for the large conurbation surrounding it. The City of London is still part of London’s city centre, but apart from financial services, most of London’s metropolitan functions are centred on the West End. The City of London has a resident population of about 8,000 but a daily working population of around 300,000.
St Paaul’s Cathedral is a cathedral on Ludgate Hill, in the City of London, and the seat of the Bishop of London. The present building dates from the 17th century, and is generally reckoned to be London’s fourth St Paul’s Cathedral, al
Swiss Re is the world’s second-largest reinsurance company (after Munich Re/ Münchener Rück), and the world’s largest life and health reinsurer. The company’s headquarters are in Zürich, Switzerland. It employs around 8500 people. It was founded in 1863 by the forerunner of Credit Suisse. Its new London headquarters are located in the award-winning 30 St Mary Axe tower, completed in 2004. In October 2003 it announced that it would become a carbon neutral business within ten years.
London Wall was the defensive wall built by the Romans around Londinium, their strategically important port town on the river Thames in England. The wall had a number of gates around the outside that leed to important Roman roads, leading to other towns in the country. The original list of gates on the wall going clockwise from Ludgate in the west to Aldgate in the east were: Ludgate, Newgate, Aldersgate, Cripplegate, Bishopsgate and Aldgate. Some of the gates, though now long gone, are remembered by the areas or roads where the gates stood being named after them. Due to the rapid growth of the city, the number of gates was increased to cope with th
Tower 42 is a skyscraper in London, the tallest in the City of London, at 25 Old Broad Street. It was originally built for the National Westminster Bank, hence its older name, the NatWest Tower. Seen from above, the Tower closely resembles the NatWest logo (three chevrons in a hexagonal arrangement). The tower, designed by Richard Seifert, was built between 1971 and 1979, and opened in 1980, costing a total of £72 million. It is 600 ft (183 m) high, which made it the tallest building in the UK until the construction of 1 Canada Square in the Docklands in 1991. Its status as the first skyscraper in the City was a coup for the NatWest, but was extremely controversial at the time, as it was a major departure from the previous restrictions on tall buildings in London. The building is constructed around a huge concrete core from which the floors are cantilevered, giving it great strength but significantly limiting the amount of office space available. On opening, this was not a consideration – but following the Big Bang in the City, trading in banks changed and the tower became obsolete thanks to the lack of large trading floors. The cantilever is constructed to take advantage of the airrights granted to it and the neighbouring site whilst respecting the banking hall on that adjacent site, as only one building was allowed to be developed. For a time it was the tallest cantilever in the world. On April 24, 1993, the Provisional IRA exploded a large truck bomb in the Bishopsgate area of the City of London. The bomb extensively damaged the NatWest Tower and many other buildings in the vicinity, causing over £1 billion worth of damage. The tower suffered severe damage and had to be entirely reclad and internally refurbished (demolition would have been too difficult and expensive). After refurbishment, NatWest decided not to re-occupy and renamed the building the International Financial Centre, then sold it. The new owners, small UK property company Greycoat, renamed it Tower 42, in reference to its 42 floors. It is now a general-purpose office building occupied by a variety of companies. The tower also features an expensive seafood and champagne bar on the 42nd floor called Vertigo 42. Its height affords patrons an excellent view westwards across central London and beyond.
Lloyd’s of London is the world’s leading insurance market, the second largest commercial insurer and sixth largest re-insurer. The origins of Lloyd’s of London can be traced back to 1688 and Edward Lloyd’s Thames-side coffee shop. Wealthy individuals who frequented the coffee-house would take shares in policies offered to them in return for a share of the premium. Signing their names one below the other on the policy documents, the participants soon became known as ‘underwriters’. Following two centuries of gradual evolution, this society of underwriters was incorporated by the Lloyd’s Act of 1871. Today over 70 syndicates compete and co-operate to provide cutting edge solutions and underwriting expertise at the hub of the world insurance market. The leading market for marine and aviation insurance, Lloyd’s is also the largest insurer of private motor vehicles in the UK and has extensive personal lines accounts. For the 2004 account, the market has a capacity of £14.9 billion, demonstrating its enduring presence as the centre for global excellence in insurance.
City Point is a 700,000 sq ft, 35-storey building, of which nearly 600,000 sq ft net is high quality office accommodation, and is now fully let. The remainder of the building comprises a mixture of retail, leisure and storage space. In addition, there is a secure basement car park providing 99 car spaces, 99 motorbike spaces and 99 cycle spaces.
The Barbican Centre, a 35 acre urban complex is a city inside a city: it is one large network of apartment buildings, gardens, garages, exhibitions halls and offices connected to each other by pedestrian bridges and walkways. Some of London’s most prominent cultural organizations, like the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Shakespeare company are located in this complex.
The Royal Exchange in the City of London was founded in 1565 by Sir Thomas Gresham to act as a centre of commerce for the city. The site was provided by the Corporation of London and the Worshipful Company of Mercers, and is roughly triangular, formed by the converging streets of Cornhill and Threadneedle Street. The design was inspired by a bourse Gresham had seen in Antwerp. The Royal Exchange was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth I who awarded the building its Royal title, on January 23, 1571. Gresham’s original building was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. A second exchange was built on the site, designed by Edward Jarman, which opened in 1669, and which was destroyed by fire in January 1838. The third Royal Exchange building still stands on the site and adheres to the original layout – consisting of a four-sided structure surrounding a central courtyard where merchants and tradesmen could do business. This building was designed by Sir William Tite, and was opened by Queen Victoria on October 28, 1844, though trading did not commence until January 1, 1845. The Royal Exchange ceased to act as a centre of commerce in 1939, and is now a luxurious shopping centre.
The London Stock Exchange – Media & Business Complex
This brand-new, purpose-built venue, situated in the shadows of St Paul’s Cathedral, has everything you need for an event that will amaze. The Media & Business Complex on the first floor of the London Stock Exchange’s headquarters combines the latest media & presentation technology. Every day, global broadcasters report on the day’s business & market news from one of four TV studios. With the studios as a backdrop, blue-chip companies & other professional organisations host meetings, conferences & receptions in a variety of contemporary event spaces.
The Central Criminal Court, commonly known as The Old Bailey (a bailey being part of a castle), is a Crown Court (criminal high court) in London, dealing with major criminal cases in the UK. It stands on the site of the mediaeval Newgate Gaol, in the street also called Old Bailey which is situated between Holborn circus and St Paul’s Cathedral. The present building dates from 1907 and was designed by E.W. Mountford. Above the main entrance is inscribed, “Defend the Children of the Poor & Punish the Wrongdoer”. Any judge whilst sitting in the Old Bailey is entitled to be addressed as “My Lord” or “My Lady”—even if when sitting elsewhere in the country they would normally be addressed by a lesser style (e.g. Your Honour). From 1970 to 1972 a new South Block was built containing more modern courts. The Old Bailey is where Sir John Mortimer practised as a barrister. His courtroom experiences led him to create the fictional character Horace Rumpole, alias Rumpole of the Bailey. While The Old Bailey (being a criminal court) is open to the public to view trials, no form of electronic equipment, including mobile phones, can be brought in by the public.
The results of the 2003 Britain in Bloom Campaign were announced at a prestigious Awards Presentation held at the London Guildhall, hosted by the City of London on 30 September 2003. Representatives from the 61 finalist entries gathered to celebrate the achievements of the past year and recognise the improvements made to communities across the UK. Writer, broadcaster and organic gardener Monty Don, together with RHS Director General, Andrew Colquhoun presented gold, silver gilt, silver and bronze achievement awards to each entry according to the allocation of judges marks. Category winners and Discretionary Awards were also presented.
One London Wall
In October 2003, Kajima Europe BV (KE) completed a landmark office building in the City of London, United Kingdom. The 27,700-square-meter (298,000-square-foot) office project, One London Wall, was completed by Sir Robert McAlpine, a respected general contractor in the United Kingdom under a design-and-build contract with a joint venture between KE and Hammerson plc, a leading U.K. property developer. Designed by Foster and Partners, a world-renowned architect, the prestigious 13-story-high office building has magnificent views over St. Paul’s Cathedral and the City. The site features the original wall that protected a Roman garrison nearly 2,000 years ago. The Foster’s design is a response to this juxtaposition of old and new. On the basement floor, the project reserved the Plaisterers Hall of the Worshipful Company of Plaisterers, a livery company in the City with a history of more than 500 years. Uniquely shaped but very flexible tenancy floors range from 1,300 to 1,900 square meters (14,000 to 21,000 square feet). On October 9, to celebrate the completion of the building and promote the newly completed office to let, the joint venture held a building launch, inviting 150 property agents in the City as well as the project team members. Among the attendees for the reception were Hiroshi Kaneko, Senior Managing Director of Kajima Corporation, Katsumi Shibasaki, President and CEO of KE, John Richards, chief executive of Hammerson plc, and Sir William McAlpine, partner of Sir Robert McAlpine. All of the attendees enjoyed a fabulous lunch, as well as interesting and informative speeches by the guest speakers, and were able to see at first hand the outstanding quality of the brand-new scheme.