London Gate by Donis


London Gate by Fernando Donis

This 100 metre-tall glass elevator is the winning entry by Rotterdam studio Donis in a competition to design a temporary landmark for Aldgate, east London.

London Gate by Fernando Donis

Called London Gate, the structure has been commissioned to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and will be in place from January 2012.

London Gate by Fernando Donis

It will mark the start of High Street 2012, the route that will join the City of London to the Olympic Park in Stratford.

London Gate by Fernando Donis

Update 27/07/10: the design has been revised and will no longer include the elevator platform.

London Gate by Fernando Donis

More about the 2012 Olympic Games on Dezeen:

Studio East by Carmody Groarke
Wenlock and Mandeville mascots by iris
ArcelorMittal Orbit by Anish Kapoor
The Blue Fence Project by StudioSuperniche
Olympic viewing platform by Office for Subversive Architecture
London 2012 Olympics stadium by HOK Sport
London 2012 Olympics logo by Wolff Olins

London Gate by Fernando Donis

Here's some more information from Donis:

DONIS wins first prize in the international competition ‘A New Landmark for Aldgate’ with ‘London Gate’.

The Architecture Foundation, on behalf of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects, has selected the ‘London Gate’, designed by Fernando Donis, as the winner of the competition to design a new gateway to the City of London.

For the competition, nearly 100 designs from around the world were presented and judged by a panel including Alderman Mike Bear, City of London; Achim Borchardt Hume, Chief Curator, Whitechapel Gallery; Roger France, Master of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects; Sarah Ichioka, Director, The Architecture Foundation; and Peter Murray, Chairman, New London Architecture. Participants were required to design a New Aldgate, a temporary landmark on the eastern edge of the City of London, to stand for the duration of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games, to open in January 2012.

Rather than creating an entirely new landmark, the ‘London Gate’ will regenerate the City (London’s historic financial centre) by reinventing the antique Ald-gate into a modern outlined ‘access’ for the public at High Street 2012, connecting the East of London and celebrating the Olympic Games. Rather than only functioning as a horizontal gateway, the project also allows vertical access via a glazed elevator platform within it, running along the structure. The scheme works as a public ‘naked’ tower amidst the extravagance of privacies; a post- and-lintel type measuring 100 meters by 12 meters part of a system of architecture.

DONIS is an international office based in Rotterdam practicing architecture and engaging in projects for the city. The office is committed to defining an architectural system to rethink the relationship between architecture and economy. DONIS is currently developing projects in the United Arab Emirates, Mexico and the Netherlands; DONIS previously received first prize for the International Competition for the National Courthouse in Paris and the first prize for the Dubai ThyssenKrupp Elevator Architecture Award 2009, among several international finalist entries.

The office is directed by Fernando Donis who previously led numerous projects at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture together with Rem Koolhaas for seven years; designer of projects such as the Renaissance Tower in Dubai, Porsche Design Towers in Dubai, New Jeddah International Airport in Saudi Arabia, the CCTV headquarters building in Beijing, among many others. Fernando Donis is also a PhD candidate at the Berlage Institute and TU Delft.

See also:


ArcelorMittal Orbit
by Anish Kapoor
Studio East
by Carmody Groarke
Cross Tower by Kensuke Watanabe

Posted on Monday July 26th 2010 at 1:42 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Richard

    beautiful and symbolic. really syncs with the idea of a "grand entrance" but yet soft and light and not the usual robust entrance we so often see.

  • Robert

    There was a big scandal for the winning scheme for Thyssenkrupp dubai which is exactly the same as this, it's just not worthy to repeat the comments.

    The mockery on architects continues….

    • dnb

      If it works, why only in Dubai? In Dubai it was also his idea!

  • Peter Murray

    The lift idea was part of the original proposal by Donis but wasn't feasible. The elegant symbolism of the gate is enough.

  • Great landmark.

  • Kaptain krunch

    how does it work? I refuse to believe that's possible to build! Let alone put a lift on it. 100m is REALLY REALLY REALLY tall!

  • The lift is beyond idiotic, but the overall form is elegant. This scheme is crying out for some value engineering.

    • kaptn krunch

      I reckon it'd be possible (and quite good) if it was just the frame and a lot shorter. The lift is frankly not possible. 100m cantilevers of single elements are just not feasible.

  • tim

    Ah yes, the perfect symbol for the supposedly less wasteful, sustainable, and temporary mission for the London games. Why not put the money for this into the stadium? At least then you can get another bird's nest…

  • Chino

    Déjà vu!!…..same guy?

  • Sorn Sorthor

    Like a simplified form of something in Thailand.

  • mma

    Who would have thought that this stupidity could strike twice? When this nonsense was celebrated by the Dubai Municipality for the Thyssenkrupp competition it seemed unbelievable to any serious Architect, BUT, now that the exact same nonsense has been rewarded by a jury in London for a completely different competition, I can't help but conclude that I'm surrounded by idiots!
    What a disgrace.

  • andy

    i cant believe it. this is the dumbest idea to date. isnt this the office that won the thyssenkrup competition with a similar silly gate? unbelievable

  • Simon

    Perfect for a game of urban rugby or urban football…!

  • iptydafu

    sometimes, less is less–there's not enough deliberation of finish to suggest it's done at first glance. i think most will just look at it, wonder what it's going to be, and forget it all together.

  • Nawar

    This is the same exact concept which was submitted for Dubai emblem competition…
    It’s a shame for an architect to steel others’ ideas… where is your identity?!

    • bbe

      It is the same architect! jJust read people, read!!!

    • who cares

      Please do not comment if you are not properly informed…

      I don’t agree with design but at least you should know who is the author if you find yourself qualified enough to say what you did… you didn’t make architect feel ashamed but yourself.

  • Martin

    I’d love to see the detailing that enables the finished construction to vaguely resemble the renders shown here.

  • Very beautiful and minimalistic… looks great with the urban scene….

  • mma

    Yes, it is the very same firm that was awarded the Thyssenkrupp Dubai competition, and ironically they won with the exact same non-concept and silly text, same exact graphic… they have obviously discovered the Universal Theory of Architecture!

    I suspect it will pop up again relatively soon and another incompetent jury will award it again.

  • scotty23

    Another poor competition run by the Architecture Foundation with a ridiculous result! There were far more interesting concepts on the shortlist. They will surely struggle to deliver this for £300K!

  • concrete

    "Update 27/07/10: the design has been revised and will no longer include the elevator platform."

    Sounds more realistic

    • adeline

      but wouldn't it render the gate utterly useless now?

  • mathieu

    Fujimoto’s entry was more powerfull and meaningfull.

  • Fizz

    The second 2012 architectural folly! Almost the visual antidote to Kapoor's monstrosity. Not so much from the ridiculous to the sublime, than from the ridiculous to the even more ridiculous. (I'm blatantly using this comment opportunity to have another blast at the diminutive sculptor's recently awarded design as I'm still smarting from the aberration he's created).

  • Serge

    Are you serious, again? Wasn't once enough for this guy, he couldn't possibly have anticipated that the infamous gate would prevail again. This is depressing for any and all who bother to enter these open competitions.

  • John

    Perspective is even wrong on the glass lift image. Joke.