Mondial House
A Landmark in The City
Mondial House - A Landmark in The City
Photo: Mondial House © ugarthr 2006
| EXIT | A Detailed History | Miscellaneous | Acknowledgements |

Mondial House

Once upon a time, Mondial House was Europe's largest international telecommunications complex...

In the late Seventies (circa 1978) De Havilland and Mollison International Switching Centres at Stag Lane were already carrying the growth in ISD traffic and Mondial House was only just nearing completion along the banks of the River Thames.

A Detailed History
Mondial House
Mondial House was an ambitious building project both in terms of size and complexity. It was originally conceived as a 15-20 storey tower block and podium, but as with most of the riverside sites in Central London, the final design had to ensure that views of St. Paul's Cathedral remained unobstructed. The end result was a ziggurat (step-back) design of 12 storeys-the 8 above ground reaching a height of 46 metres. Planned in 1970, the structure was a typical '21st century' design of concrete and white plastic cladding which quite effectively concealed a densely packed area of 57,000 square metres on a 1.1 hectare site.


Click on the photo for a detailed history of the landmark.


Photo: Mondial House circa 1986 © M.Chenery
The building had to be viewed from a distance (the opposite bank of the Thames or from the air) in order to realise its sheer scale and character. At close range, there was not much fine detail, simply a towering bulk of  solid mass.  
Miscellaneous

  • POEU March 1970: The building will be called Mondial House ("mondial": world-wide). The building will incorporate a riverside promenade, public walkways at first floor level and a fire station [Dowgate] fronting on to Upper Thames Street to meet the requirements of the Greater London Council and the City of London.

  • The gleaming white external Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) cladding was designed by Peter Hodge Associates.

  • The name Mondial House was finally confirmed following a 'competition' (1976) for suggestions among External Telecommunications Executive (ETE) HQ staff.

  • Mondial House ISC opened in 1978.

  • Mondial's International Control Centre was officially opened on 3rd May 1984 by Lady Jefferson. [At the time,  Sir George Jefferson was chairman of British Telecom].

  • In the 2005 financial year, BT successfully disposed of Mondial House for £51 million [source BT Annual Report 2005].

  • 18th January 2006: "UBS was granted permission to demolish Mondial House, a former BT telephone exchange next to Cannon Street station, to make way for a 545,000 sq ft office and shopping project, to be named Watermark Place." [Source www.timesonline.co.uk ] The name of 'One Angel Lane' was later adopted, as the European HQ of Nomura.


Acknowledgements

Mondial House was at 90-94 Upper Thames Street, London, EC4R 3UB.
BTI Brochure-Designed by Terence Kingston Project Design London, Printed in England by Gavin Martin Ltd. December BTI PR 286 British Telecommunications plc.
Post Office Telecommunications Journals Spring 1978.
POEEJ January 1978 - The TXK2 Switching System and Peripheral Equipment at Mondial International Telephone Services Centre by D.C. Modi and K.W. Young.


With thanks to Mark Rippingale, Adrian Russell, Peter Walker and John Burt, Leon Baird, Kim Laughton, Tali Febland, Frances Smith and contributors.

 
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