Our top 9 iconic buildings

Posted November 30th, 2017 by Jasmine Lui

Working in a creative sector, like architecture, most designs are influenced by ideas and projects that already exist. The UK offers plenty of inspirational, iconic buildings - from grand medieval cathedrals to sleek contemporary gallery spaces - thanks to its rich history and diverse, forward-thinking outlook.

We asked our team to tell us the buildings from across the UK that inspire them.

The Lowry, Salford
Key facts:
• Located on the iconic Salford Quays in Greater Manchester.
• Named after early 20th century painter L. S. Lowry.
• Opened in 2000 by the Queen.
Office manager and architectural co-ordinator, Lisa Harvey, said: “The Lowry is often compared to the Guggenheim Museum in Spain, and it’s easy to see why. The heavy use of stainless steel and glass creates a striking view from the waterfront and fits the contemporary, modern feel of its surroundings.”

Millenium Library, The Forum, Norwich
Key facts:
• Built on the site of the previous Norwich Library, which burnt down in 1994.
• Visited by more than 2.5m people every year.
• Amphitheatre-like steps at the front provide a multi-use platform for a range of open air performances.
Lisa said: “I love how multi-functional this space is, and the impact it’s had on the local area in terms of attracting visitors and reviving a lot of creative avenues such as outdoor operate, amateur theatre and art exhibitions.”

St. Paul’s Cathedral, London
Key facts:
• Located on Ludgate Hill at the highest point of the City of London.
• Was the tallest building in London from 1710 to 1967 at 365 ft (111 m).
• Part of a major rebuilding programme in the city after the Great Fire of London.
Senior architectural technologist, Mark Howarth said: “St Paul’s is easily one of the most recognisable sights in London, and perhaps the whole of the UK. With one of the highest domes in the world and its famous spires, it’s a key part of the London skyline.
“It’s also hosted some of the most revered social events in recent history, such as the funeral of Churchill, Charles and Diana’s wedding and the Queen’s Jubilee services, making it intrinsic to the nation’s identity.”

The Leadenhall Building, London
Key facts:
• Nicknamed ‘the cheesegrater’ due to its unusual wedge-shaped profile.
• Stands at 737ft (225m) tall.
Mark said: “The striking design of the Leadenhall Building really is breath-taking. The use of steel bracings and ladder frame really make the most of the unusual shape and give the building a sense of strength.
“I also like how it makes a design feature of some its mechanical aspects – particularly the visible elements of the elevator shafts.”

The Hive Library, Worcester
Key facts:
• Houses the Worcestershire County Council, City of Worcester public library, the University of Worcester’s academic library and the Worcestershire Record Office.
• Uses gold-coloured cladding to give it an unusual appearance.
Architect, Tom Atkinson, said: “The distinctive look of the building is in great contrast to the older styles of buildings in the area.
“The design also utilises technology to improve sustainability, including computer controlled ventilation and a river water cooling system, which eliminates the needs for a traditional air conditioning system.”

Lord’s Pavilion, London
Key facts:
• Achieved Grade II architectural designation.
Sports development co-ordinator, Jonathan Hodges, said: “The Lord’s Pavillion is quite possibly one of most iconic buildings in sport. In particular the Long Room – the stretch of building players must walk through to get from their dressing room to the field – is notoriously long and complex.”

Harlaxton Manor, Grantham
Key facts:
• Was used a filming location for several films and TV series.
• Now owned by the University of Evansville, Indiana, USA, and is used as its British Campus.
Architectural assistant, Aimee Rasen said: “Harlaxton Manor is absolutely stunning. The way it combines elements of Jacobean and Elizabethan styles with symmetrical Baroque massing makes it totally unique.”

Lincoln Cathedral
Key facts:
• Was the tallest building in the world for 238 years (1311–1549).
• Is the third largest cathedral in Britain in terms of floor space after St Paul’s and York Minster.
Marketing and communications lead, Jasmine Lui said: “As a Lincoln-based firm I think it would be impossible not to mention the Cathedral. It’s a beautiful building and is at the very heart of Lincoln’s identity.
“My favourite part is probably the two rose windows – named the ‘Dean’s Eye’ on the north side and the ‘Bishop’s Eye’ on the south - which are unusual for a medieval building.”

Malvern College (Main Building), Worcestershire
Key facts:
• Is a Grade II listed building.
• Designed by architect, Charles Hansom in 1862.
Head of sports development, Tom Drew said: “As a student, I spent almost every day walking into or past this building. New visitors always claim it reminds them of Hogwarts and it’s easy to see why!
“The backdrop of Malvern Hills on one side and the Vale of Evesham on the other means it’s quite striking to look at.
“The building has also seen some rather notable people walk its corridors, such as CS Lewis, Jeremy Paxman and of course, me!”

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Our top 9 iconic buildings
Images courtesy of The Chapter of Lincoln
Our top 9 iconic buildings
The Lowry
Our top 9 iconic buildings
The Lowry

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