Telecom Tower London hotel news, Cleveland Street building sale by BT Group, Image, MCR Hotels architect, Post Office design date

BT Tower London Architecture

Key Tall Building in central London sold to MCR Hotels USA: 60 Cleveland Street, Fitzrovia, England, UK

post updated 22 + 21 February 2024

BT Tower in Hotel Conversion

Design: Thomas Heatherwick of Heatherwick Studio

BT Tower London hotel building conversion

Telecom Tower Hotel Conversion

The BT Tower, a well-known landmark in London, is set to be turned into a hotel after it was sold for £275m, report the BBC.

The tower’s former owners, BT Group, announced on Wednesday it had sold it to US operator MCR Hotels.

The conversion into a hotel is to be by the celebrated London architectural studio of Heatherwick Studio.

The sale announcement has been welcomed by the architectural heritage campaign group C20, which says it hopes to see the revolving restaurant reinstated.

Due to the evolution of fixed and mobile networks BT Group no longer relies on the Telecom Tower to carry microwave signals from London to the rest of the UK.

Photos © Adrian Welch – from 1 Oct 2012:

Telecom Tower London Fitzrovia Building BT Tower Building London

The building is 620 feet high, and once contained a rotating restaurant at the top.

The Telecom Tower was bombed by the IRA.

BT Group will take years to vacate the tower: the scale and complexity of removing its technical equipment will make for a slow conversion to a luxury hotel.

The transition period should give MCR Hotels time to develop its redevelopment design plan and also engage with local communities.

MCR operates about 150 hotels in the US.

Previously on e-architect:

Date built: 1961

Chief Architects: Eric Bedford & G. R. Yeats

Ministry of Public Buildings and Works

BT Tower in London

Photos © Keepclicking – from 10 Sep 2012:

BT Tower BT Tower London Telecom Tower London

Location: 60 Cleveland Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 4JZ

Telecom Tower

BT Tower Telecom Tower
photos © Nick Weall

Also known as the BT Tower and GPO Tower.

BT Tower London
picture © Adrian Welch

Location: Holland St, central London, southeast England, United Kingdom

Telecom Tower London – contact details: phone 020 746 8348

Status: Grade II listed since 2003

Telecom Tower London
photograph © AJW

The main structure is 177 metres (581 ft) high, with a further section of aerial rigging bringing the total height to 189 metres (620 ft). Its Post Office code was YTOW.

Upon completion in 1964, it overtook the Millbank Tower to become the tallest building in both London and the United Kingdom. The structure held these titles until 1980, when it in turn was overtaken by the NatWest Tower.

BT Tower London BT Tower London BT Tower London building BT Tower London
pictures © AW

It replaced a much shorter steel lattice tower which had been built on the roof of the neighbouring Museum telephone exchange in the late 1940s to provide a television link between London and Birmingham.

The narrow cylindrical shape was chosen because of the requirements of the communications aerials: the building will shift no more than 25 centimetres (10 in) in wind speeds of up to 150 km/h (95 mph). Initially, the first 16 floors were for technical equipment and power. Above that was a 35-metre section for the microwave aerials, and above that were six floors of suites, kitchens, technical equipment, a revolving restaurant on the 33rd floor, and finally a cantilevered steel lattice tower.

To prevent heat build-up, the glass cladding was of a special tint. The construction cost was £2.5 million.

BT Tower images – scanned photos by Isabelle Lomholt:
BT Tower BT Tower

Opened in 1965 by then Prime Minister Harold Wilson, the 177-metre (600ft) tower was used by television broadcasters for sending signals.

It was London’s tallest building for 16 years until the NatWest Tower in the City of London was built. The Natwest Tower was designed by architect Richard Seifert.

The top floor revolving restaurant was run by Billy Butlin (of Butlin’s holiday camps) and took 22 minutes to fully rotate.

The building was open to some visitors during the London-wide Open House Festival in September 2023.

Key properties run by MCR Hotels include New York’s High Line hotel and the TWA hotel at JFK airport.

Thomas Heatherwick’s previous designs for the capital have included the new Routemaster buses for Boris Johnson when he was mayor, the Olympic cauldron for the 2012 Games and the abandoned plan for a Garden Bridge across the River Thames.

Heatherwick Studio


BT Tower London building photographs (with blue sky) taken with Panasonic DMC-FX01 lumix camera; Leica lense: 2816×2112 pixels – original photos available upon request: info(at)

Location: 60 Cleveland Street, Fitzrovia, London W1T 4JZ, England, UK

London Buildings

Contemporary London Building Designs

London Architecture Links – chronological list

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London Architects Offices

London Architecture

BT Tower in London

London Skyscraper Buildings

Modern London Skyscraper Buildings – key architectural selection from e-architect below:

Centre Point Tower
Centre Point Tower
photo © Nick Weall
Centre Point Tower

The Scalpel
Design: Kohn Pederson Fox – KPF
The Scalpel Tower Lime Street
image courtesy of the architects
The Scalpel City of London Skyscraper

Lloyds Building
Lloyds Building

British Telecom Building, Edinburgh
Design: Bennetts Associates
This BT building has won a number of awards

Tower of London
Tower Hill, central / east London
Date built: 1078
Medieval castle containing the Crown Jewels

Spire London Docklands Tower
Design: HOK, Architects
Spire London Docklands skyscraper building
image from architect office
Spire London Docklands Tower

60-70 St Mary Axe
Design: Foggo Associates Architects
60-70 St Mary Axe Skyscraper
60-70 St Mary Axe skyscraper image courtesy of the architects studio
60-70 St Mary Axe Building

Comments / photos for the Telecom Tower LondonCleveland Street Architecture page welcome