As we reported last Thursday, a series of specially designed new benches have been rolled out across the City of London as part of this month’s London Festival of Architecture. We loved the designs so much, we thought we’d show you some of the others. Above is Nicholas Kirk Architects’ Money Box which, located outside London Bridge Station, is formed of 45,000 stacked pennies while immediately below is McCloy + Muchemwa’s A Bench for Everyone. Located Inside One New Change, its folded shape is designed to evoke the “memory and much-loved comforts of home furniture”. The festival runs until the end of the month. PICTURES: All images © Agnese Sanvito
Above – Mariya Lapteva’s City Ghosts which, located in front of the Royal Exchange, is inspired by the history of the area including East India House and the little shopfronts along Leadenhall Street.
Above – Maria Gasparian’s Ceramic City Bench in Bow Church Yard featuring colours inspired by the “multi-layered context of the City of London that has for centuries been a place for trade, exchange and religious diversity”.
Above – Mills Turner’s Double Bench in Fen Court has been designed to be easy to assemble and adjustable and features an “organic silhouette” which follows the natural curve of the human body.
The latest in the series in which we ask you to identify where in London this picture was taken and what it’s of. If you think you can identify this picture (and try and be as precise as possible), leave a comment below. We’ll reveal the answer early next week. Good luck!
Yes, you guessed it, these are indeed the 3.7 metre high statues which sit above the south transept of St Paul’s Cathedral. The statues include those of St Andrew and St Thomas, both of which are attributed to Caius Gabriel Cibber (1630-1700) and Grinling Gibbons (1648-1721). We had originally said they were the work of Francis Bird (1667-1731), who also completed the famous panel depicting the Conversion of St Paul on the cathedral’s west front and the original version of the statue of Queen Anne outside the main entrance (more on that another time), but while he was responsible for other statues on the cathedral, turns out he wasn’t for these two. The image was taken from the viewing deck of One New Change on Cheapside.
One of the major thoroughfares of the City of London, the name is reflective of its role as a marketplace with the medieval English word ‘cheap’ generally been taken to mean market.
Starting from the intersection of Newgate Street and St Martin’s Le Grand through to where it runs into Poultry, the street was apparently originally known as Westcheap – Eastcheap is still located down near the Monument. Cheapside’s surrounding streets – including Poultry, Milk Street, and Bread Street give indication of the sorts of goods that were once sold in the area.
Cheapside was, in medieval times, an important street and was on the processional route royalty would have taken from Westminster to the Tower of London. It is the site of St Mary-le-Bow Church (it’s said that if you’re born within hearing of the Bow bells you’re a true Londoner), and, until the Great Fire of 1666, the eastern end of Cheapside was the site of the end of the Great Conduit where water arrived after being piped in from the Tyburn River in the west.
Key figures associated with Cheapside include slain Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket, born there in 1118, poet John Milton, born on the adjoining Bread Street in 1608, and writer Geoffrey Chaucer. A glimpse into the street’s past was found in 1912 when the Cheapside Hoard was unearthed during the demolition of a building there (you can see our earlier post on that here).
The area was heavily bombed during World War II.
Lined with shops, restaurants and office buildings, Cheapside today remains close to the heart of the city and is currently undergoing significant redevelopment, the recently opened swanky shopping centre at One New Change being an example.
London’s newest shopping mall (and the first to open in the City for 130 years), One New Change, has opened up some interesting new views of the city, in particular of St Paul’s Cathedral which stands opposite. The views including those seen from the 6th floor public rooftop terrace which was opened last week. Located in Cheapside (‘cheap’ meaning market), the more than £500 million development was designed by Pritzker Prize winning French architect Jean Nouvel. For more information, see www.onenewchange.com.