Farewell to control tower

old control tower demolitionAs part of Heathrow’s transformation and to make way for roads which will serve the new Terminal 2, one of the last iconic remnants of ‘old’ Heathrow, the Old Control Tower is being demolished.

With its distinctive red brick construction, glazed Air Traffic Control Room and white radar dome, the distinctive nine-floor silhouette of the OCT has gazed out over an ever-evolving airport since 1955.

It was constructed in the same era as the now-demolished Queens Building and Europa Building (the former T2) and replaced the RAF Control Tower, shortly after the first modern runway and terminal building were opened by The Queen.

Up to that point, the early passenger terminals were ex-military marquees which formed a tented village along Bath Road. The OCT was designed by architect Sir Frederick Gibberd, who was also responsible for the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and Didcot Power Station.

It closed last year after almost 60 years’ service. Whilst Air Traffic Control transferred to the new control tower in 2007, the building continued to be a home to offices until its final closure.

Once the last brick is cleared, the only 1950’s red brick remaining – and the last of the original Central Terminal Area buildings – will be the Boiler House.


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