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Michal Tomas

Cinematic video and photo productions

Distillery Tower / London Open House Weekend 2012

For starters I got to say to ones that don’t know me, that i love nice landscape view, best if it’s from an elevated point and just about perfect if it has 360 degrees of viewing possibilities. 

This years London Open House Weekend saw a new entry on the map of open to the public skyscrapers with a nice view   – the Distillery Tower with it’s 27th floor viewing gallery.

No booking required, no ballot, I was just able to come in, wait 5 min for the next group to go in the elevator. There was about 5 other people with me at the top so the building guide say I can take as long as I want up there, so as it was my kids nap time and they were sleeping with my other half in the car at near by Wickes car park, I took my 30min time to zoom away. I wasn’t expecting free time and space up top, i’ve only took my hacked Panasonic GH2 with the kit 14-42mm lens, ND filter and a GoPro Hero 2. Attached Gopro to the hot shoe mount to get some extra wide angles, put it all on my Manfrotto 561BHDV video monopod and off I went.

The weather was beutiful. Views from the top are amazing although being only 82 meters / 269 ft, still giving unprecedented access to 360 degrees of London landscape. Only thing that was not allowed is access to the outside balcony that runs around 270 degrees of the viewing gallery, because of simple risk of  possible suicide jumpers, so all shots had to be done through the windows that apart from the inside fingerprints, were still rather clean.

What i saw you can see in above video. There were other buildings with magnificent views that I also wanted to visit like the Heron Tower,but this one was a bollot,as was Tower 42 that I visited and filemed from last year, see video.Also Trellic Tower was a bollot, din’t win that one either. 30 St Mary’s Axe  ( the Gherkin ) was also open to public, first come first served basis of queuing on Sunday, but when I woke up on Sunday and saw the utterly bad weather and didn’t bother.

My hopes for next years’ Open House Weekend are to see more of London’s skyscrapers opening for free to the public, like for example:

The Shard

- The Strata,

- The Pinnacle (to be completed in 2013),

Leadenhall Building, more popularly known as the Cheesegrater ( to be completed in 2014)

…or any of the taller ones one the Isle of Dogs / Docklands would be nice.

See you next year.


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