The Skylon in Google Earth

The Skylon in Google EarthDr. Smith has added a new 3D model of a London structure to his collection at his Digitally Distributed Environments blog. This time he is interested in modelling some buildings which had contributed to the London skyline in the past. He started with an interesting structure called The Skylon which looks like a skeleton rocket. According to Dr. Smith:

The Skylon, designed by Philip Powell and Hildalgo Moya, became the centre point of the Festival of Britain on the South Bank of London in 1951. … The Festival of Britain and the Skylon became a centre piece on the South Bank of London, similar to the way the London Eye is today. Sadly it was demolished in 1952 by the Conservative Government and the site is now occupied by the National Theatre.

In order to improve the screenshot, I changed the color of the model to rust. So, that’s the version you can download above. I also forced my graphics card to do anti-aliasing to improve the screen shot (eliminate jaggies). The model sits on top of an aerial photo of today’s buildings at the site. You can turn on the provided overlay which shows the layout of the festival in 1951. You can download Dr. Smith’s original model at his blog which is gray in color.
By the way, I turned up this Wikipedia entry on the Skylon that says the structure was closed down due to fears of lightning strikes (the structure was steel).

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