View from Tower Pier
Tower Hill, Tower of LondonEdit profile
Acclaimed rationalisation of the area to the west of the Tower of London to provide new visitor facilities plus a significant public space linking the City with the Thames.
Won in international competition in 1999, Stanton Williams’ brief at Tower Hill was to rationalise the area to the west of the Tower and to provide new facilities for visitors. Completed in 2004 at a cost of £14.5 million, the new Tower Hill Square is a significant and award-winning piece of urban placemaking.
Previously inaccessible and somewhat incoherent in its uncoordinated accretions, the area has been reworked as an uncluttered pedestrian promenade that slopes gently down to the river and gives due prominence to the Tower itself. Along its western edge, visitor facilities are located in two new pavilions whose colonnades recall historic precedent. Their transparency and rectilinear architectural language are continued in an extension to Salvin’s Pumphouse, a Victorian building which now houses the shop.
Throughout, high-quality paving and building materials add to the richness of the new square. The results are as much about ‘place’ as space, and the steps which link the promenade to the moat are an especially lively area which has successfully been used for theatre, with the Tower itself as backdrop.
The cool simplicity of the completed scheme belies the complexity of the project which involved reconciling the rich archaeological and historic significance of the site with access legislation and the interests of the multiple groups involved.