Paternoster Square, City of London

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Temple Bar Paternoster Square               P1030938-transf-varlt-varyr-u3-h550-u0.5-q70.jpg (78470 bytes)               P1030951-transf-varlt-u2-h550-u0.5-q50.jpg (72625 bytes)

Temple Bar forms the southern entrance to Paternoster Square from the west end of St Paul's Cathedral. It is the only surviving gateway into the City of London and marked the boundary with the City of Westminster, standing originally at the junction of Fleet Street and the Strand. It was rebuilt at this site in 2004. Built in 1672 at the behest of King Charles II to replace a previous timber gateway, it was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, with statues by John Bushnell. In 1878 it was removed from its original site to improve traffic flow and and make space for the new Royal Courts of Justice. The brewer Sir Henry Meux bought it and had it re-erected in 1887 as a gateway into his estate at Theobald Park in Hertfordshire. In 1976 the Temple Bar Trust was set up to buy it back for the City and eventually found this location for it.

Paternoster Square was severely damaged in the war and redeveloped in the 1960s. The result was unpopular and the square was again redeveloped in 1996-2003 to a masterplan by Whitfield Partners.

P1030954-transf-varlt-u3-h550-u0.5-q70.jpg (82467 bytes)          Paternoster Square London          P1030936-transf-u3-h550-u0.3-q50.jpg (77630 bytes)

Part of Juxon House, by Whitfield Partners / Sidell Gibson
Warwick Court by MacCormac Jamieson Prichard
King Edward Court by Eric Parry Architects

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Detail of King Edward Court. I am guessing that the sundial indicates the date at 12 noon. The photograph was taken 7th March 2008, a little after 11 am.

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Chapter House by Sir Christopher Wren
Building Six by Whitfield Partners / Sheppard Robson

The new version of Paternoster Square has had a mixed reception. Quote from Wikipedia article:

"Supporters of the scheme praised it for its harmonious architecture, much of it built in brick and stone like Wren's chapter house for St Paul's (which is integrated into the plan); for its mix of offices and shops; and for its coherent organization of space by means of a large central piazza and urban walkways which cut through the block in logical ways to tie it into the surrounding urban fabric; and claimed that it represented an ideal example of modern development on a traditional site.
Critics called the architecture banal; dismissed the mixed-use credentials ..."  Full Wikipedia article

From The Guardian 3 November 2003:

"St Paul's is now flanked to its north by a gathering of burly office blocks clad in the architectural equivalent of tweed coats. The odd bit of classical paste and some bizarre 1930s Italian fascist-style posturing help complete the look of this architectural fancy dress party.

Many visitors to the new-look Paternoster Square will be surprised to hear negative comments. Surely, here are some of the best-mannered new office blocks in Britain, ..."  Full Guardian article


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