A model of London now opening to the public

The Londonist is telling me that I should Visit This Incredible Model Of Central London, Newly Open:

For many years, a wonderful secret has resided in a basement beneath the Guildhall. This highly detailed 3D model of London, used by planners, developers and architects, has been off-limits to the public, except for rare open days. From 23 April it will be freely open every week for anyone who cares to take a look.

And you should take a look – it’s fascinating on many levels. Stretching from Holborn to Wapping, the scale model gives a superb overview of the different styles of architecture that make up central London. It also looks ahead, including any building that has received planning permission. Many towers under construction are here shown complete. Below we snapped the ‘Can of Ham’, soon to rise next to fellow picnic-able skyscraper, the Gherkin.

My first reaction, to the photos – not to the model itself (which I have yet to see) – is how very unrealistic it looks, despite (I’m sure) everything being the exact right size and shape. I’m not complaining, just saying. Models are often like that.

Not that I need convincing to visit this thing. Fridays and Saturdays, apparently. I’ve got various things coming up, so it may be a while before I get do this, but do it I definitely will. And when I do, expect more photos.

That the model includes everything that has received planning permission will sometimes mean temporarily including Things that are never actually built, merely permitted but then abandoned. Like the Helter Skelter, for instance. Which presumably had a starring role in this model, for a while.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog