The View From The Top

Last weekend I was lucky enough to be taken on a tour of One Canada Square, the tallest building in the UK, courtesy of a friend who works there. Situated at the heart of Canary Wharf close to where I live the main structure is 235m tall with 50 floors and is a prominent landmark on London’s rapidly evolving skyline. Having featured prominently in a string of recent films (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Bourne Supremacy, 28 Weeks Later…) and the UK version of The Apprentice recently it’s likely you’ll recognise the location.


The higher floors offer amazing panoramic views of east London with the River Thames snaking its way around the Isle of Dogs. On a clear day, you can see for many miles and it’s striking just how flat London is without a hill in sight! It’s a shame there is no public viewing gallery but presumably, fears of terrorism have curtailed any possibility of that.


There’s a lot of construction taking place around this area at the moment, mostly luxury apartments (like Pan Peninsular) but also various infrastructure projects to prepare for the Olympics in 2012. Part of this includes the lengthening of Docklands Light Railway trains which is causing mass disruption for anyone trying to get to and from central London at the moment (i.e. everyone)!

David avatar

3 responses

  1. Maria avatar

    Those pictures are gorgeous!!! I think I might be the most jealous Maria in the whole wide world!London does indeed appear to be shockingly flat. I think the problem with a viewing gallery would probably be that the tallest buildings tend to house companies that wouldn't want randoms walking around their buildings, so any viewing gallery would probably have to be in a building purpose built for the public. Getting the money to make such a large building in London for the likes of us against the wishes of hundreds or even thousands of big companies who want an impressive London address is highly unlikely. The London Eye got past that problem pretty neatly though.

  2. Hi Maria, thanks for your comment – glad to see your back online!

    Not so bad to be trapped in an office when when you have a view like this! The only thing which those of a nervous disposition might find disconcerting is the planes taking off from City Airport which appear to be flying straight towards the building as its on exactly the same trajectory. Even from the ground its somewhat scary if you're not used to it!

  3. Clare Roberts avatar
    Clare Roberts

    Actually, 1 Canada Place used to have a viewing gallery, l took my young nephew to it on the first day of opening, in the early 1990s. However when the IRA bomb went off at Canary Wharf, in the mid 1990s, the viewing gallery was immediately closed, never to be opened again.


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