Our New Home: An Architectural Engagement with London City
In January 2023 Morrow + Lorraine officially moved from Westminster to 88 Wood Street, Barbican.
As a means for us to settle into our new neighbourhood and become familiar with our surroundings, we arranged an exclusive tour of London City with Grant Smith, an established architectural photographer. More personally, he has previously taken Morrow + Lorraine’s staff portraits.
Grant guided the team on a considered route beginning at 88 Wood Street, a building he knows well as he photographed it for Graham Stirk at RSHP. We ended the tour at Temple Bar, the 350-year-old Wren gateway, now in its third location on Paternoster Square. Along the way we were led through a maze of architectural eclecticism. Although only a distance of 1.5 miles (2.5km) was covered, an immense display of architectural diversity was discovered.
Situated next door to our studio is the Barbican Estate, home to surviving examples of exposed Roman Wall of what once was the northern edge of Roman Londinium. Also still existing are a sprinkling of Baroque Wren Churches such as St. Mary-le-bow and the magnificent St Pauls Cathedral, like much of London, both rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1666.
Contained in the vicinity you will also find Leadenhall Market, which dates back to the 14th century. This is now housed next door to Richard Roger’s high tech aesthetic, Lloyds of London and Fosters + Partners’, Willis Towers Watson. Only a stone’s throw away is Eric Parry’s One Fen Court, awarded “Building of the Year” in 2019 by Worshipful Company of Architects and OMA’s New Court Rothschild Bank, to name a few.
As Grant noted, there is no other city in the world or any other part of London quite like London City’s architectural cluster. Some buildings have stood or undergone conservation for centuries, some are revolutionary for their centuries design and some are yet to be completed. Together, they amalgamate a timeless masterpiece; a splendid mixture of architectural styles and spellbinding history.
Thank you Grant for the inspiring tour. We thoroughly look forward to further discovering our new neighbourhood and in time retracing our steps to witness the ever-evolving sector.
Written by Cara Hodgkins
Photographs by Sam Stephens