You are here: Home : Search : Search Results : Detailed Result
  |   Print  



The Skylon was a structure built and erected on the Southbank in London purely for the duration of the Festival of Britain from May to September 1951. Constructed in 1950-51, it was a structure without any sort of practical function and was the product of a design competition for a 'vertical feature' won by Sir Philip Powell and Jacko Moya. The Skylon comprised a 12-sided structure built of a mix of steel and aluminium which tapered at the top and bottom and was 76 metres tall. Compared to a cigar, pencil or torpedo, the Skylon was erected and supported by a system of pylons and steel cables. The name 'Skylon' was actually the result of another competition which invited the public to suggest a name for the 'vertical feature'. It was won by Mrs Margaret Sheppard who said that she considered words such as 'Skyhook' and 'Pylon' before deciding to merge the two to form 'Skylon'. The structure was generally received positively by the press, especially the 'New Statesman' who has been quoted as saying that the Skylon was '"like everything else in the Festival - a huge, lively joke, a tribute only to the spirit of nonsense and creative laughter."' It also seems to have been what is most remembered by people who visited the festival and appeared on all sorts on merchandise including ties, pens and chocolate biscuits. As with all structures at the Festival, with the exception of the Royal Festival Hall, the Skylon wasn't intended to be a permanent feature. Options for relocating the structure were discussed however in the end the decision was made to simply sell it for scrap. Despite its short life, the Skylon has remained a popular icon and it is said that a campaign to have it rebuilt continues.

DETAIL + / -
+ / -
Please help us keep our information accurate let us know if you see any errors on this page.

Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the Historic England website.