London Heathrow Airport Demolition Old Control Tower

Saying goodbye to the Old Control Tower

06 of March of 2013

Transformation and redevelopment works at Heathrow Airport will improve access to the new Terminal 2 by making way for new roads and connections. In order to accommodate this new infrastructures, the Old Control Tower was demolished in late 2012.

Tearing down this historical building was a big deal for everyone at Heathrow. This large red brick tower had a privileged view of the airport since 1955. It’s distinctive silhouette was part of Heathrow’s anatomy for so long, so we are obviously talking about a significant event for London’s airport.

The Old Control Tower, which replaced a Royal Air Force Control Tower, had been built in the same era as the Queens Building and the Europa Building, which have also been demolished during the redevelopment works that are improving the airport on a day-to-day basis.

The building, which was designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd (also responsible for the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral), stopped serving as an effective control tower back in 2007, although it still served as a home to different offices and departments. After the demolition works, only one part of the original building survives: the Boiler House.

Saying goodbye to an infrastructure like this sure has a certain feeling of emotion attached to it. After all, this building has witnessed Heathrow’s transformation from humble beginnings to a global transportation hub. However, I think it is safe to say that the world-class infrastructure that will replace this old building will indeed make the Old Control Tower proud.


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