I was rootling around in the archives for something interesting, and this time I really went back, to the time of my very first digital camera. And in among lots of photos of my friends and GodDaughters all looking eighteen years younger, I found this photo, taken while on a trip around the Wheel, of the Guy’s Hospital Tower, looking just as brutally (because Brutalist) ugly then as it does now:
That’s right, no Shard.
But more to the point, it shows what a Big Thing that building in the middle there used to be.
And I’ve said it here before. This was London’s Montparnasse Tower. What Paris concluded from the Montparnasse Tower was: never again. But what London concluded from the Guy’s Hospital Tower was: we need to build lots of bigger towers, so that this one won’t be any part of the definition of London. And in particular, we need to put a really big Big Thing, right next to this big old thing.
So, in the photo: Guy’s Hospital, and no Shard.
And: without Guy’s Hospital, also no Shard.