Vote for Skylon movie
by Squint/Opera


Film and media studio Squint/Opera have created a short film to publicise the campaign to rebuild the Skylon - a popular landmark designed by architects Powell & Moya for the 1951 Festival of Britain that was removed from its location on the South Bank and scrapped when the exhibition closed.

Here's more info on the campaign:


Squint Opera studio have created and produced a film for the rebuilding and location of the Festival of Britains Skylon At the age of 27, Philip
Powell and Jacko Moya won a competition to build the Skylon for the 1951 Festival of Britain. The Skylon was a 300 foot high metal sculpture that sat in the heart of London on the Southbank. It was demolished in 1952 but people have wanted to rebuild it again on a regular basis. It became an icon for a new era in British history, and is the first example of high-tech architecture in the UK. Its innovative form has inspired some of the greatest of our UK architects over the past 60 years. This extraordinary film launches a campaign to bring the Skylon back to London.


In 1951, London’s skyline was transformed, as part of the Festival of Britain, by the erection of one of the most striking structures ever built in this country: the Skylon. The Skylon was a 300 ft tower - an architectural and engineering marvel designed by two young architects Jacko Moya and Philip Powell still in their twenties, of Powell and Moya Architects.

The architects' design was made structurally elegant and minimal by the brilliant engineer Felix Samuely. With a base 40 feet from the ground and the top nearly 300 feet high - the Skylon was more sculpture than building and floated like an up-ended airship above the South Bank. Dramatic by day, Skylon was even more radical, luminescent and exciting at night.

1. The Skylon became an icon for a new era in British history, and is the first example of high-tech architecture in the UK. Its innovative form has inspired some of the greatest of our UK architects over the past 60 years (Powell and Moya went on to establish a successful practice and won the Queen’s Gold Medal for Architecture).

2. We are approaching the 60th anniversary of the Festival of Britain and the creation of the Skylon. The re-creation of its most innovative structure would be a fitting way to commemorate this unique and exciting time in British history.The Skylon deserves to be re-built for both its historical and architectural significance.

Until now, only historic photographs could remind us of the extraordinary vision of the Skylon (it was demolished in 1952). But now, Jack Pringle is leading a campaign to re-build the Skylon for 2011 - the 60th Anniversary of the Festival of Britain.

We have an open view on where it should be located. We have had expressions of interest from a number of interested parties. Key potential locations would be its original home on the Southbank, Battersea Gardens (this has particular relevance as it was the home of the second site of the Festival of Britain), Battersea Power Station (Powell and Moya Architects also designed Churchill gardens, the listed social housing complex which face Battersea Power Station),City Hall, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Cambridge.

We intend to re-build the Skylon as it was originally constructed. However, the illumination of the Skylon both internally and externally would be new and contemporary.

On the 10th July, we will be asking you, the public, to vote on this website [] for if, and where, you would like to see the Skylon rebuilt. You can select up to three locations for where you would like to see it built. If you have a location in mind that we haven’t shown, please send us an email and let us know. Simply register and click on the voting buttons under the location of your choice From the 10th July.

The Skylon has been the subject of architectural articles and TV documentaries (most notably by Dan Cruickshank who looked at what happened to the Skylon when it was demolished). Below are some of the key articles, links to films and pieces so far.

Jack Pringle is launching the campaign to Re-Build the Skylon with a 300ft projection of the Skylon on the Shell building situated on the Southbank. The projection will run for three evenings (10th, 11th and 12th July).

Posted on Friday July 11th 2008 at 1:09 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • edward

    I had no idea what it was, and the video didn’t make it clear at all. Doesn’t London have enough iconic structures as it is?

  • Compared to there other pieces its far from there best. It fails to really get across what the piece is or even where they want to put it. I felt like I was watching a short student animation on how to camera track and add a simple model into live footage…

  • Peter.G

    More Waste From London Festival of Architecture!

  • sam

    the comments on this site have become so tiring.
    on one ever has a single positive thing to say.
    so i will. here goes:

    i thought this vid introduced a sense of levity that counterbalances all the bitterness found in the comments sections of this site.

  • Ludwig

    Well, maybe this video was made for free!
    It is basically the same idea of the metal structure for the olympic stadium walking like a giant beast across he city until it finds its resting place. The skylon on the contrary acts erratic and dumb. Is it trying to be friendly? Perhaps a s a structure is technologically dated now but at its time it looked elegant and daring. Not like the caricature portrayed here.

  • Tyler

    Unfortunately I don’t have anything positive to say about this stuff. Ludwig, what is the meaning of Skylon when architecture should be elegant every time? In my country we have tons of really bad architecture of 50 and 60′ which I can’t imagine to place nowadays anywhere in the world [except Dubai ;)]. Cheers guys, don’t offend each other on comments, it’s just a type of critique. ;)

  • Doctor Scruffknuckles

    Well well well what have we here!
    A delighful little folly in my opinion – charming and delicate

    To everyone commenting : Your mothers would be ashamed.

  • nichy

    it’s an AMAZING idea!!!!!….. great!!!!