The City: London Architects
The City of London has evolved organically and is not characterised by a particular architectural style. Very few structures predate the Great Fire of 1666. One of the most famous London architects was Sir Christopher Wren (1632 – 1723). He built prolifically in the late 17th Century – most notably St Paul’s Cathedral. He is accorded responsibility for rebuilding 51 churches in the City of London.
The City arguably holds the greatest diversity of buildings from different periods. There are a few surviving pre-1666 Tudor buildings and a rich seam of architectural styles from the years thereafter. Numerous London architects have built buildings in this area. Aside from Wren, other famous London architects from the period were Nicholas Hawksmoor (1661-1736), John Vanbrugh (1664-1726) and William Benson (1682-1754). The Royal Exchange was originally founded in 1565. Fire completely destroyed successive buildings in 1666 and 1838. A firm of London architects, led by Sir William Tite, started work on a redesigned third building in 1838 which was completed in 1844. The internal works were designed by another up-and-coming firm of London architects at the time run by Edward L’Anson (1812-1888). L’Anson was born in Putney and was the eldest son of Edward L’Anson (1775-1853), also a surveyor and architect.
Other notable City of London architects are the Corporation of London Architects themselves (responsible for buildings such as The Barbican and The Golden Lane Estate), Richard Seifert (Tower 42 formerly Natwest Tower), Lord Rogers (Lloyds Building), Lord Foster (Swiss RE).