Millbank Tower

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Millbank Tower is a Template:Convert high skyscraper in the City of Westminster at Millbank, on the banks of the River Thames in London.

History

The Tower was constructed in 1963 for Vickers and was originally known as Vickers Tower. It was designed by Ronald Ward and Partners and built by John Mowlem & Co. It is a landmark on the London skyline, sitting beside the River Thames, half a mile upstream from the Palace of Westminster. The tower has been owned by David and Simon Reuben since 2002, while still being managed by its former owner Tishman Speyer Properties. It is a Grade II listed building.

The 2003 edition of the Pevsner architectural guide says that Millbank Tower is "one of the few London office towers to have won affection", and contrasts it with the "boxy structure" of the Shell Tower at Waterloo.

Occupants

Throughout its history, Millbank has been home to many high profile political and other organisations. From 1995 the Labour Party rented two floors in the base at the south of the site for use as a general election campaign centre, including the ground floor, which had a lecture theatre, and also a meeting space that was used for press conferences. Labour ran its 1997 General Election campaign from these offices; after the election, the party vacated its headquarters at John Smith House, Walworth Road SE17, to move to Millbank. Just five years later, however, the £1 million per annum rent forced the party to vacate the tower and relocate to 16 Old Queen Street.

The United Nations also had offices in Millbank Tower, but moved out in June 2003, also citing high rents. Other public bodies have continued to occupy the building, including the Central Statistical Office, the predecessor of the Office for National Statistics, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, the Local Government Ombudsman, the UK India Business Council and the Ministry of Justice Records Management Service.

Since 2006, the Conservative Party have based their campaign headquarters at 30 Millbank, in the same complex as Millbank Tower.

Other floors in the tower are occupied by various organisations and commercial companies, including Environment Agency, the World Bank, Altitude 360 London, free software promotion company Canonical Ltd., - the company that sponsors the Ubuntu project; the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, the UK India Business Council, the Audit Commission, event caterers Salt and Pepper, Private Food Design, the firm Lewis PR, and the London office of the Open Society Foundations.

In popular culture

The tower featured in the 1973 film, The Vault of Horror, in which several characters are trapped in a lift in the building. It was also used for the location filming of the Doctor Who serial The Invasion to represent the London offices of International Electromatics.

Gallery

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References

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