Tag: green roof

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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Why I am not allowed to take pictures of One New Change from the roof of One New Change

This is a view from the roof of One New Change, the recently-opened shopping centre next to St Paul’s.  The views from the roof are spectacular – across London to the South Bank and of St Paul’s.  As I came out of the lift the security guard stopped me and said that I could take pictures from the roof of the view but not of the building.  Until he said this, I had had no intentions of photographing the building as, especially at this level, there appeared to be little to see apart from grey metal panels.  However, clearly there was something that I was not allowed to photograph.  I think it might be this: the building’s green roof.