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GES044 - Temple Court - Night of Heights Pt 1 of 3

Night of Heights - Pt.1 T Court

Over 1 splendid evening in November 2009, 5 explorers came together to tackle some lofty buildings. The meeting point was T Court, a gutted office block sitting a stones throw from St. Pauls Cathedral. This was the former HQ of Legal & General, built between 1953 and 1958, Architect was O. Campbell-Jones & Sons.

Iain Nairn described it blankly as "the null point of architecture." During construction in 1954, the remains of the Roman Temple of Mithras were discovered and incorporated into a raised public terrace above the open space adjacent to Queen Victoria Street. Hence the name, Temple Court. It's adjoining sister, Bucklersbury House, was the first modern building to push past the 100ft height rule governing buildings at the time. Nethertheless, at 14 storeys high, it gave a good panorama of the area, and sat above most buildings nearby. It's future is as Walbrooke Square, after the river running nearby. It is an Anglo-French collaboration between Norman Foster and French architect Jean Nouvel.

I parked up nearby, and gave GE043 a bell on the ole dog 'n bone. He was at the top already looking down at me from above, a tracksuit bottom exploring angel in the clouds. He said to come in and up the stairs, and I duly obliged his instructions. After unbeknowingly bruising a rib while getting in, I strolled up to the top floor. I had neglected to bring a torch, so relied on my mobile's light function. After walking up the corridor once, I failed to see a way up, however on the return, I spotted it amongst a collection of pipes. On top everyone was gathered on a little shed type structure overlooking St. Pauls. I greeted GE043 & GE041, who I'd met before at Battersea for the Fireworks. I nodded to GE051, as we don't get on. And met GE044 for the first time, an affable chap also from Reading. They'd all finished, so I got my first few shots in of St. Pauls

I then turned the camera south to see the Thames and Tate Modern.

Then east

And of course, what person wouldn't take a poser shot from here

I then dropped back down again onto the roof and wondered off to look at the back end options. When on an explore, One generally looks around for other possibilities. I looked back along the roof to St. Pauls again.

A look around downstairs showed the building inside to be distinctly dull and lacking in features.

As we looked North East, we could see our next target sticking out from behind Tower 42.

And with that, we descended the down the brightly lit stairwell. The passers-by in the street oblivious to our descent. A hop and a skip, and we were back on the street. Heading North East to Liverpool St and our next target, GES041, the Heron Tower.


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