London's Great Fire Monument to get new accordion-shaped neighbour

22nd November 2007
Daily Mail

The Great Fire Monument in London, which looks very similar to Nelson's Column, was built by Sir Christopher Wren in 1677 to commemorate the Great Fire of London which destroyed much of the city in 1666 (but also helped to kill thousands of the rats which caused the 1665 Great Plague of London which killed 100,000 Londoners). The column stands 202 feet from where the Great Fire of London started in a bakery in Pudding Lane in September 1666

Christopher Wren's Monument to The Great Fire Of London is to have a new neighbour.

Architect Ken Shuttleworth has obtained planning permission for a building resembling an accordion which will fold around the City square where the Monument has stood since 1677.

There will be a roof garden that will form a giant sundial, with Wren's 202ft column acting as the gnomon, the pillar which creates a shadow on the dial, indicating the time across the landscaping.

The new accordian shaped building will feature a roof garden

Mr Shuttleworth said he wanted to "reinstate a more coherent plan of the square as envisaged by Wren".

He added: "The building's pleated facades will provide a striking motif to frame and reflect the Monument."

The 10-storey building, being developed by Carlyle Group, will have a ground floor cafe with views of the Monument and 90,000 sq ft of offices.

The Grade I listed Monument is undergoing a 4.5million refit, which involves cleaning the stonework, regilding the orb, installing new lighting and improving the cage around the viewing platform. The column stands 202ft from where the 1666 Great Fire started in a bakery.