OXO Tower Tour

Martyn White

Posted on December 04 2016

Many of us are familiar with the OXO tower but very few of us have the pleasure of getting an up close and personal experience. I wanted to share with you mine.

Located on the South Bank, overlooking the busy waters of the Thames, The OXO Tower is a structure known to many and seen by millions of people each year. With a long and diverse history dating back to the 1920's, many people may know and love this tower but very few have been able to experience it up close in all its splendour, taking a tour of its spiral staircases up to the top level to take in the surrounding views of London. After jumping at the chance to visit the tower and explore a landmark from a brand new perspective, I wanted to share my experience with you. Click the video below to watch my visit to the tower from the top down. 

Inside the OXO tower London behind the iconic shaped windowsInside the OXO tower London industrial interiorIndustrial iron spiral staircase inside the OXO Tower London

Closed off from the public, it was a great honour to be invited to visit such an iconic Landmark in London, gaining a new perspective and insight into its design and allowing us to discover what exactly is behind its infamous windows. Making our way up to the OXO Tower Restaurant, I was surprised to discover just how close the entrance was to the business of everyday life. A doorway to another world gone unnoticed by the surrounding public and diners. Amongst the hustle and bustle of building utilities, services and kitchen was a stairway, taking us up another level to be greeted by the first of many black iron spiral staircases to take us up to the top.

Copper spire and crown on top of the OXO Tower in LondonViews and architecture from the OXO Tower LondonSea Containers House sign viewed from the OXO TowerViews across London including the London Eye and Big Ben from the OXO Tower

The tower is essentially several open rooms stacked on top of each other, split by staircases that make their way through the centre. It was a strange feeling to reach the first set of circular windows, knowing that these were no ordinary circular windows, but the symbol of the entire building and the brand it once represented. Taking a huge amount of photos, it was time to make it up another level to be greeted with square "X" windows and then another set of circular windows before reaching the very top level. 

Looking down at OXO Tower Wharf Pier from the tower Looking up at the OXO Tower in London and across the Thames from the restarantMartyn White Designs and The Urban Quarters

Upon reaching the top and making our way through a small door, we were greeted by impressive views of the city. Even on an overcast November morning such as the one we experienced, nothing could take away the magic of the city. Looking straight ahead across the Thames were views of St Pauls Cathedral, a site closely associated with the city. Moving to the east, we could see the contrasting modern skyscrapers of the financial district rising up into the skyline, the new era of towers already making their marks on the city as OXO and St Pauls did many decades before. What has always impressed me with London is the acceptance and diversity of architecture. Each time period has made its own special mark, as those in the future will continue to do so. 


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