Southbank architecture of reuse walking tour - Saturday 30 July 2022 1.30pm

Southbank architecture of reuse walking tour - Saturday 30 July 2022 1.30pm

Regular price £14.50
Tax included.


Join Open City for a walking tour exploring the past, present and future of architecture on the Southbank

This fun and engaging walking tour — led by architect and Golden Key Academy graduate Noel Wright — tells the story of several landmark buildings along the south side of the River Thames that have been imaginatively repurposed as part of the area’s radical transformation from an industrial waterfront to a cultural and recreational district. We look at what conditions brought about these bold changes and the different design approaches that informed the transformation of these structures from serving one use to another.

Exploring London’s most popular and dramatic waterfront, the tour discusses how new approaches to regeneration in the late 20th century prioritized adaptation over starting anew. Looking at iconic structures such as the former Bankside Power Station, FT Building and Oxo Tower Wharf — it will discuss the economic, environmental, aesthetic and other reasons which continue to fuel the search for alternative functions for key waterfront structures once their original purpose has passed.

Highlights of the tour include Oxo Tower Wharf and the neighbouring Bargehouse, originally constructed as a power station and now a mixed-use building owned by the non-profit Coin Street Community Builders; the 1970s Southbank Tower designed by the renowned postwar architect Richard Seifert which has recently been redeveloped as housing and extended upwards; Tate Modern by the acclaimed Swiss stars Herzog & de Meuron; and Blackfriars Rail Bridge which was transformed and given a roof of photovoltaic solar panels as part of the £6 billion Thameslink upgrade programme by Will Alsop.

Providing a fun way for enthusiastic urbanists to explore the city, this tour will explore the architectural history and changing appearance of this prominent south London area which went from being an industrial heartland to a recreational and cultural hub during the 20th Century.

Meet: Outside the Thirsty Bear pub, 62 Stamford St, London SE1 9LX
End: Southwark Bridge. Duration: 2 hrs approx. Distance: 2 km

This tour does not incorporate the use of Zoom. 

Meet the tour guide ....
Noel Wright is an architect typically working on range of smaller scale building projects such as new houses, refurbishments and listed buildings. He has a strong interest in environmental issues and is a qualified Passivhaus designer. This tour reflects his interest in how and why we adapt and fix things, and the understanding that this process lends itself to a diverse and meaningful environment.

Wright is a graduate of the 2021 Golden Key Academy — a masterclass for urban and architectural tour guiding run by Open City. He joined the Open City tours team in December 2021.

Tickets are non-refundable and tours go ahead, rain or shine. Please get in touch with Adrianna at with any queries.

Concession pricing is available for those that are a student or unemployed. 

In the event your tour date is cancelled due to Covid you will be provided with the opportunity to book onto a rescheduled date, book onto another tour or held in credit (with no expiry date).