Tag: Golden Lane

The best roof garden in the City of London. Why is it closed to everyone?

Great Arthur House, the centrepiece of Golden Lane Estate was not only London’s tallest residential tower when completed in the 1950s but it had and still has, a superb roof garden. These pictures give some indication of its size and attraction.  It provides superb views over the City, it has a beautifully-designed pagoda, roof for two trees, areas for sheltered seating and a small pond, fed by the huge curved roof that gives the building its personality.  And, it is closed to….everyone.  It has become slightly newsworthy locally over the past couple of weeks  because someone has managed to get up there and added a couple of graffiti tags.

Why is it closed? Allegedly because there were a number of suicides twenty years ago.

Roof gardens have become fashionable again.  The one on the recently-opened One New Change is pretty amazing and pretty corporate.   The roof garden on Great Arthur House is intimate, residential, almost cosy.  One of the residents who visited on a rare occasion when it was opened two years ago remembers deckchairs on a Sunday afternoon.  There is little public space in the City, Great Arthur House roof garden could be a special place for everyone who lives here. View a video of the roof garden.

Picture credits: Michael Bojkowski and Tim Crocker.

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In the deep end at Golden Lane

Work is due to start tomorrow on the restoration of Golden Lane Leisure Centre.  The Centre contains the only public swimming pool in the City.  The campaign to resist its closure led to 850 responses to the consultation which convinced the Corporation (which owns it) to invest £2.6 million on the restoration.  The changes have been controversial with the architects originally proposing to fill in the space between  the pool and the badminton court.  There will now  be changes to this listed building but of a modest nature.  Meanwhile, every swim now requires a bus trip up to the west end.