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GES043 - Meridian Hotel & No.1 building, Piccadilly

July 2010

Another night, another rooftop. I had two options here, either ascend in Piccadilly, or Regent St. It was slightly quieter in Piccadilly, and getting past the alarms appeared a bit easier. So after waiting for a couple to finish making out, it was a scrappy scramble onto the hoarding that wasn’t properly fixed, then up into the scaffold. The hotel is operational throughout the facade being cleaned, so careful foot placement was needed on the loose boards. I got to the mid level and had to check the restaurant was empty from behind a pillar. The climb to the top of the scaffold would be in full view. After a few floors the front is open and the restaurant looks out through it.

At the top I found the scaffold no longer went to the top of the roof, but various bits of scaffold here and there could get me close. Being mindful of the people in the hotel rooms, I took my time climbing onto a rooms roof extending from the main roof. Then I had to get up 2m of small tiles, that didn't look safe or particularly strong. I said sod it, and went for it. Luckily the angle of the roof was such that I managed to stay on course with no slippage. I resisted the urge to flash my derrière at the people staying in the rooms at this level, as much as I wanted too.

I was now on a narrow gantry that lead to a thin brick facade that lead up to a flag pole. Time to get the remote trigger out for a poser shot, although sadly my fear of heights meant I didn't get too high up the ladder!

A quick nip up a short ladder, and then another one, and i was by the air conditioning system, grinding and panting away next to me. I could see off down Piccadilly below, where the stupidly rich kids were racing their supercars.

I passed along the roof, the very top of the building

At the far end of the roofs pinnacle, is where the hotel meets Air St.

Having overslept, i’d arrived late, and missed the brief moment of darkness that mid summer offers. The light was constantly changing offering different opportunities. I wandered back and forth across the top of the hotel out of sight taking pictures. The dome part of the hotel that overlooks No.1 Piccadilly building was too tempting to resist another poser photo.

Also an opportunity to shoot up Regent St.

As I had taken enough, I looked at where the building joined No. 1 Piccadilly, over a scary looking arch. I decided against it as too scary, and went to look to descend. Just as I was about to descend, I thought “sod it” and went back.

I slowly lowered myself down to the large chimney over some tiles, then shuffled across the arch over Air St. On one side a sheer drop, the other a steep slope to a sheer drop. I gripped the rail and took carefully every step. Aware of the need for safety, but also that I was visible to all below. Safely on the roof of No. 1 Piccadilly, it was a walk to the edge and Piccadilly Circus below me.

The view down below with the trusty fisheye

I grabbed another shot from the roof, back across to the hotel and the Regent St curve. Across the road the previously explored GES009.

Back across the Air St arch, up the tiles and onto the safety of the hotel roof. I then went to descend the scaffold on Regent St. Luckily there didn’t appear to be any workers, odd considering it was 7am on a Saturday. One final shot of the Regent St crescent curve, and I was quick to get down the last few layers.

I dealt with the alarm, and down a ladder into a hoarded area which had the door wide open for a civilised exit.

Looking up at where I'd just been.