What is City Hall?
City Hall is the new home of Londonwide government.
It is often described as a purpose built building but in fact the initial design was developed before the building’s current use was decided.
The building was designed by noted architect Norman Foster.
Why didn’t the new London Government use County Hall, the home of previous Londonwide bodies?
Although the old County Hall was sold off after the GLC was abolished, the chamber and main office complex remain in place and the current owners of the building offered these for use by the new Authority.
The Government decided on a new building for several reasons; they were keen to use the building to help redevelop and regenerate an area of London and they wanted a symbolic break from the past.
Who chose the building?
The building was chosen in an open competition by the (then) London Minister Nick Raynsford.
The public were invited to submit their views on each of the seven shortlisted designs.
The final design and location – the Borough of Southwark – were unveiled in a media event on the Thames which was attended by the London Minister and the London Spokesmen for the Conservatives & Liberal Democrats.
Who owns the building and how much did it cost Londoners?
The building is owned by the developers (CIT group) not by the authority. The GLA inherited a 25 year lease which was negotiated by the Government Office for London.
The lease gives the GLA the building for the fairly cheap price of £36.50 per square foot (£393 per square metre) and is frozen until 2007.
All construction costs were met by the developer and the Government met in full the cost of fitting out the building.
Can I visit City Hall?
Yes – in fact the Mayor and Assembly encourage the public to do so. City Hall is open to the public each weekday. One of the key features is an observation deck at the top of the building which gives panoramic views of the capital.There is also access on some weekends.
Full feeding and WC/Baby changing facilities are available for visitors making the building suitable for families of all sizes and ages.
What is the address of the building and how can I get there?
The full address of City Hall is:
The Queen’s Walk
London SE1 2AA
Telephone: 020 7983 4000
Fax: 020 7983 4057
The building is located within the ‘More London development’, close to Tower Bridge. It is also a short walk from London Bridge.