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London has no fixed essence—that’s its magic

The capital’s story is told in the infinite variety of its buildings

By Dave Hill  

Photo: Dave Hill/Goodfellow Communications

London’s buildings tell compelling stories of the capital’s identity, not because they express some fixed essence of the city but because they reflect its lack of one. Like London, their variations are infinite and changing endlessly. Like London, they are both ancient and new, loved and loathed, dazzling and dreadful, stupid and stupendous, and often all of those things in the same street.

As is the case with London’s people, businesses and institutions, they tend to cluster in types, but also often form extraordinary mosaics.…

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