In late 2014 we were thrilled to unveil our brand new and spectacular glass floor across the high-level Walkways – the most significant development to the Exhibition since it originally opened in the 1980s for the perfect riverside venue. The new feature offers visitors a never-seen-before view of London life, from 42 metres above the River Thames. Look down to spy those famous red London buses and pedestrians whizzing over the Bridge while river vessels sail under it – and if you’re very lucky, the truly magical experience of the bascules being raised beneath your feet. The glass floor measures 11 metres long and 1.8 metres wide and is comprised of panels weighing 530 kilograms each – it’s no wonder the installation took a 20-strong team to construct it!
The events spaces at Tower Bridge house a dynamic RGB colour-changing lighting solution which can be adapted to suit all manner of events. In the Walkways there are over 300 energy efficient, LED fittings hidden within the steel lattice structure which create a spectacular lighting experience for receptions and dinners. There is also a 360° rotational track-mounted dimmable spotlight system, which can be used to pinspot tables. LED colour changing lighting is also installed in the Engine Rooms, North Tower Lounge and the Visitor Entrance, so you can effectively light your event space at the touch of a button.
Under the Corporation of London (Tower Bridge) Act 1885, the City of London Corporation is required to raise the Bridge to provide access to and egress from the Upper Pool of London for registered vessels with a mast or superstructure of 30 feet or more. The service is provided free of charge subject to 24 hours’ notice and is available any time, day or night, 365 days per year. The Bridge is raised around 850 times each year.
For more information please visit www.towerbridge.org.uk
A huge challenge faced the City of London Corporation – how to build a bridge downstream from London Bridge without disrupting river traffic activities. To generate ideas, the “Special Bridge or Subway Committee” was formed in 1876, and opened the design for the new crossing to public competition. Over 50 designs were submitted for consideration, some of which are on display at Tower Bridge Exhibition. It wasn’t until October 1884 however, that Horace Jones, the City Architect, in collaboration with John Wolfe Barry, offered the chosen design for Tower Bridge as a solution.
When it was built, Tower Bridge was the largest and most sophisticated bascule bridge ever completed (“bascule” comes from the French for “see-saw”). These bascules were operated by hydraulics, using steam to power the enormous pumping engines. The energy created was stored in six massive accumulators, so as soon as power was required to lift the Bridge, it was always readily available. The accumulators fed the driving engines, which drove the bascules up and down. Despite the complexity of the system, the bascules only took about a minute to raise to their maximum angle of 86 degrees. Today, the bascules are still operated by hydraulic power, but since 1976 they have been driven by oil and electricity rather than steam. The original pumping engines, accumulators and boilers are now exhibits within Tower Bridge Exhibition’s Engine Rooms, offering unique event space.