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29/07/2011

OXO Tower (Oxo Wharf Tower), London


This is a photo of the OXO Tower, a building with a prominent tower on the south bank of the River Thames in London. The building currently has a set of bijou arts and crafts shops on the ground and first floors. A well-known restaurant is located on the 8th floor (OXO's Restaurant, Bar & Brasserie), which is the roof top level of the main building and the spectacular 250-foot terrace offers breathtaking views of the city.
The building was originally constructed as a power station for the Post Office, built towards the end of the 19th century. It was subsequently acquired by the Liebig Extract of Meat Company, manufacturers of Oxo beef stock cubes, for conversion into a cold store. The building was largely rebuilt to an Art Deco design by company architect Albert Moore between 1928 and 1929. Much of the original power station was demolished, but the river facing facade was retained and extended. Liebig wanted to include a tower featuring illuminated signs advertising the name of their product. When permission for the advertisements was refused, the tower was built with four sets of three vertically-aligned windows, each of which "coincidentally" happened to be in the shapes of a circle, a cross and a circle. Liebig and the building were eventually purchased by the Vestey Group. In the late 1970s and into the 1980s there were several proposals to demolish the building and develop it and the adjacent Coin Street site, but these were met with strong local opposition and two planning inquiries were held. In the 1990s the tower was refurbished to a design by Liftschutz Davidson to include housing, a restaurant, shops and exhibition space. The tower won the Royal Fine Art Commission / BSkyB Building of the Year Award for Urban Regeneration in 1997, the RIBA Award for Architecture also in 1997, the Brick Development Association Award 1997, Civic Trust Award 1998 and The Waterfront Center USA Honor Award 2000.

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