City Hall is the Mayor of London's new headquarters and home to London's governing body, the London Assembly.
The Mayor, not to be confused with the Lord Mayor of the City of London which is a ceremonial post, is publically elected every four years to manage the governance of Greater London.
Opened in 2002, City Hall was designed by Sir Norman Foster who also designed the Gherkin Tower close by. Built on the site of the old Hay’s Wharf complex City Hall’s sweeping spherical shape makes it an environmentally friendly building.
With 25% less surface area of a conventional building, it is self-shading, naturally ventilated and cooled by air conditioning which uses cold ground water extracted from deep below the building. Additional energy efficiency comes from the latest electrical control systems, lighting movement sensors and solar panels.
To represent transparency, a clear 500 metre spiral staircase ascends the full height of the ten-story building giving uninterrupted views of the interior. On the tenth floor is ‘London's Living Room’ an exhibition and meeting space with an external viewing balcony.
Next to City Hall is The Scoop, a sunken outdoor amphitheatre run by MoreLondon, an estate management company who lease most of the adjacent buildings, including City Hall. Seating up to 800 people, the open-air amphitheatre is used in the summer for free musical and theatre performances and for showing films.
There are also regular outdoor exhibitions in amongst the water features and plantations of More London Riverside, London's largest new public square. Lighting for the area is enhanced by a series of mirrors, located high on a mast they reduce glare and reflect an even light.
The public spaces along this part of our Pool of London walk, which includes London Bridge City Park, are a perfect place to rest and enjoy the view of the river Thames, Tower Bridge, and the Tower of London.