City Hall is the headquarters of the Greater London Authority (GLA) which comprises the Mayor of London and the London Assembly. It was constructed at a cost of £65 million on a site formerly occupied by wharves serving the Pool of London. It is part of More Place which has a number of buildings designed by Foster Partners – referred to as More London Riverside and an area called The Scoop, with water features and planting areas which were designed by Townshend Landscape Architects. There is also park and gardens area to the side and back.
The City Hall building has an unusual, bulbous shape, which was intended to reduce its surface area and thus improve energy efficiency, It has been compared variously to Darth Vader’s helmet, a misshapen egg, a motorcycle helmet, the glass testicle/gonad” and more politely as “The Onion”. Its designers reportedly saw the building as a giant sphere hanging over the Thames, but opted for a more conventionally rooted building instead. It has no front or back in conventional terms but derives its shape from a modified sphere. It has a helical walkway similar to the Guggenheim Museum and the glass construction is meant to represent transparency.
City Hall and More Place is one of my favourite spots to visit in the city of London as it offers some great photographic opportunities at all times of the day and there is so much variety in the immediate area and beyond. The early morning and late afternoon in summer is about the only time of year where the sun shines directly on the front of the buildings however the side of City hall and the views across the river are generally in sun most of the day. It is well worth exploring the garden area behind City Hall for some more unusual shots of this building.