Coming upon Exchange Square feels a bit like entering the eye of an storm. Just above Liverpool Street Station, it's a calm and serene outdoor space amidst tall office buildings. My favourite thing about this square is the enormous Broadgate Venus (http://www.london-hotels…) bronze statue by Colombian artist, Fernando Botero. Erected in 1990, this statue of a reclining woman is a good representative of Botero's big people style. Reminiscent of Picasso and Reuben, the Broadgate Venus sets a calming tone and bit of quirk to a part of town that's generally known for being all business.
I've found myself going slightly out of my to take yet another peek at this lovely lady. I'll do it again. There's a nice water feature at Exchange Square too - and great views over Liverpool Street Station.
First off, if you don't like modern architecture, give this place a miss. If you are OK about that though, and passing through Liverpool Street, it's well worth a visit. Hidden away in the midst of some rather good examples of modern architecture it's a very unusual open space. Rather than a normal square, what you have here is mostly a range of steps, facing the end of the station platform, and a stage area (which I've never actually caught being used though I'm told it is). Any day around mid day the steps will be filled with office workers eating their lunches. There's also a big water feature: a series of very non-natural waterfalls. Sitting there the noise of the water is very soothing, though I can never help wondering how many chemicals are needed to keep the stones free of algae!
Anyway it's different. It's also only part of a network of pedestrian spaces to the North and West of Liverpool Street Station, including some shops and sculptures. You may wish to wander
Exchange Square was created in the early 1990s as part of the Liverpool Street railway station redevelopment. It sits above the tracks at the 'throat' of the station, making use of what would otherwise be fresh air.
As well as being an unexpected space, it affords a unique view of the station from a glass screen on one side: you literally get a bird's eye view of the platforms and tracks.
On the other side is the massive, modern bulk of Exchange House. Its major feature is a huge arch which helps to suspends the structure off the ground (underneath it is clear that the whole structure is actually a bridge so that the weight is supported on pillars to leave room for the tracks). The design is unashamedly modern, and works perfectly in this situation.
The square itself - currently undergoing refurbishment to improve access to the station - has an open space with grass, cafes, a performance area and a modern fountain. Being in Britain, of course, the fountain is decorated by the bright plastic bottles that people have thrown there
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