At the New London Architecture Galleries of The Building Centre a gigantic interactive map has been installed to help the general public, tourists and professionals understand London’s past, present and future landscape.
NLA is an independent information resource on the built environment, which can be accessed by anyone and is used to influence discussion around, architecture, planning and development.
The 12.5m New London Model has been commissioned by NLA and designed by Pipers, which used data supplied by Ordnance Survey.
Representing an area covering 85km², the 1:2000 scale map shows London’s 19 boroughs, 170,000 individual buildings and details the Thames’ 21 bridges.
Everything is digitally animated across the surface of the model and controlled by touchscreen terminals which bring up detailed information including key facts on new buildings and proposed projects.
Visitors search by typing in the name of a building, architect, or developer and it lights up on the map.
Interactive films covering the history and development of London can be triggered on a screen behind the map covering topics including the history and development of London, the impact of The London Plan, the future of infrastructure in the capital, and the rise of tall buildings. New films will be commissioned to coincide with the publishing of NLA research.
The films are synched with activity on the map and trigger lighting and audio activity. Key areas light up to help visitors visualise discussion points.
Tall buildings, for example, can be highlighted, as can the “viewing corridors” around St Paul’s Cathedral.
Additional lighting and audio also help tell stories such as the Great Fire of London in 1666, as the Square Mile appears to burn and the rest of the map is plunged into darkness “highlighting the terror and devastation that ravaged London” the NLA says.
Visitors can also track the route and the impact of major construction projects such as the HS2 and Crossrail 1 and 2 routes on central and greater London.
The model, which opens tomorrow, marks the tenth anniversary of the NLA. It replaces a smaller interactive map model, which was installed when the organisation was set up.