Drawings of London
In 1970, Richard was commissioned to produce a 360 degree drawing of London from the BT Tower, known then as the GPO (General Post Office) Tower. The drawing was to be displayed on the revolving observation floor at the top of the tower, allowing visitors to identify prominent buildings and the changing skyline of London.
Black line drawing, 336 x 46cms, 1970-73
The panoramic drawing, which captures an accurate and detailed vista of London, was to be enlarged to 10ft in height and located adjacent to the windows.
In order to create a 360 degree drawing as a flat image with a number of diminishing perspective points the immediate foreground is slightly stretched and the background is compressed. Tottenham Court Road has been drawn as a convex curve, however when the drawing is bent into a curve, the road becomes straight, as it would appear in reality.
Six months into the commission with a quarter of the drawing complete a terrorist bomb exploded and closed the Tower to the public, as a consequence the commission was cancelled. Richard decided to complete the drawing in his own time, working 3 mornings a week (6.30 – 8.00am). Two and a half years later after waiting for the completion of Euston Tower (a prominent foreground feature) the work was complete.
The drawing remains a unique record of London as it was in 1973.