Whether it’s enjoying the premiere of the new Bond film or no time to start getting ready for Halloween Season – we hope you’ve enjoyed the first weekend of October! To start the week off, we’re celebrating World Architecture Day by giving you a rundown of some of the coolest architectural feats to visit in London and the UK.
Kings Cross Station
A definite favorite for Harry Potter fans, Kings Cross is a wonderful place to go searching for platform 9 & 3/4 or half a trolley fixed to the wall. Originally built in 1851 by Lewis Cubitt, passengers have included Queen Victoria who left for Scotland upon its opening. The Giant web-like structure across the terminal was installed in 2012, and the stunning transformation has made this one of the most beautiful stations to visit ever since.
The Royal Pavilion
If you ever wanted to visit something right out of Disney’s Aladdin, look no further. The Royal Pavillion in Brighton is an ornate amalgamation of Western and Eastern culture. Built as a seaside pleasure palace for King George IV, this Grade I listed former royal residence was constructed in three stages. Made in the Indo-Saracenic style prevalent in India for most of the 19th century, the current appearance is the work of architect John Nash. In 1850 Queen Victoria decided that Osborne House should be the royal seaside retreat. As a result the Pavilion was sold to the city of Brighton.
St Pauls Cathedral- The Dean’s StaircaseUnfortunately hidden from the public in the South West Tower of London’s most famous Cathedral, the Deans Staircase serves as a link to the Cathedral library. Another sight in Harry Potter, the cathedral staff jokingly call it the moneymaker, as it’s been featured in countless films. The cantilevered staircase is perfectly balanced and unsupported. Each stair is anchored to the wall, and that’s all. An embodiment of architecture and math at its finest, this staircase is more than 300 years old and shows no signs of giving up under its own weight.
The Wallace Collection (Hertford House)Another lesser-known hidden gem in the heart of London is Hertford House. The house boasts a series of endless rooms, filled with golden ornaments and sculptures. A museum as part of what is formally known as Hertford House, this townhouse formerly belonged to Edward Seymour. Then, it was where Sir Richard and Lady Wallace lived – and afterward continually changed and refurbished. In the past, the house was used by both the French and Spanish Embassy. In 2000, the inner courtyard was given a glass roof and a cafe named “Cafe Bagatelle” after the Château de Bagatelle in Paris. The contrast between historic interiors and glass courtyard cafe makes for a stunning piece of architecture.
The Devon and Exeter InstitutionThe what? A very enigmatic spot in the heart of Exeter city center, most residents in this town probably won’t have heard of this town-house turned independent library. Today the galleried libraries hold a unique historical book collection, virtually unchanged, and collections of maps, prints, drawings, and decorative art. The institution provides inspiration and a place for research and reading, educational activities, cultural events, and lectures. While Exeter cathedral might be ranked fifth on TripAdvisor for the Best Architectural Buildings in the UK, we think this hidden gem steals the show. Be sure to knock on its doors, and enjoy the renowned freshly baked scones next door.
Riverside MuseumLocated in Glasgow, this work of art houses a museum with over 3,000 exhibits. The building itself, designed by architect Zara Hadid, has a 36-metre high glazed frontage overlooking the river Clyde. The zig-zag zinc panels and pointy rooftop design make it a striking addition to the city. We guarantee this is one of the most quirky rooftop designs you’ll ever come across.
Leighton HouseIn London, there’s no shortage of beautiful historic houses – but Leighton House transports you to a less conventionally English space. Located in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, the building was the London home of painter Frederic Leighton, 1st Baron Leighton (1830–1896). Architect and designer George Aitchison was hired to build him a combined home and studio. It is noted for its incorporation of tiles and other elements purchased in the Near East, combined with Victorian characteristics, to build a magnificent Qa’a (room). This was a domestic form of architecture found in affluent residences of the medieval Islamic world.
Bath AbbeyRoman remains and 18th Century Architecture means Bath is the only city in the UK to be announced a World Heritage Site. Among many impressive architectural feats, Bath Abbey is a parish church of the Church of England and former Benedictine monastery in Bath. It was founded in the 7th century and is one of the largest examples of Perpendicular Gothic architecture. The church architecture is cruciform in plan and can seat up to 1,200 patrons. It is an active place of worship, hosting civic ceremonies, concerts, and lectures – with a heritage museum in the cellars.
Canary WharfTall glass buildings and London’s central business district? You guessed it. Canary Wharf is home to many sky-rise buildings, including the fourth tallest in the UK – One Canada Square. Here, you’ll find a whole host of restaurants, leisure centres, and even mini-golf! You’ll have many architectural views to admire as you soak in the scene, with the River Thames streaming through the district. It also happens to be where the team at Oasis Living are developing their latest project, so be sure to stop by and say hi while you’re here!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of the top architectural spots! Have any recommendations? You know where to find us!