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Big Ben Renovation Virtual Tour

After 5 years and £80 million, the iconic Elizabeth Tower Рhome to the famous Big Ben bell Рhas been completely renovated and is open again to the public.

But with the scaffolding removed, no-one will have the opportunity to see up-close the painstaking restoration of the exterior – the stonemasonry, heraldry, gold detailing and the famous clockface itself. And with limited visitor capacity and access, there’s always more demand for in-person tours than can be accommodated.

That’s where we came in.

We worked with the UK Parliament team to capture high resolution 360 images of the key areas inside the tower, from the mechanism room, to the clock faces, the belfry and the Ayrton light inside the tower’s spire. As well as securing rare permission for a drone flight over the Palace of Westminster and around the Elizabeth Tower, to capture the close-up details on the outside and set it in context of Parliament Square, the River Thames and the London skyline.

We then developed a branded microsite to allow online users to explore the imagery and interact with rich media hotspots, containing text, images and video. Recreating the real-world tour experience, and supporting it with interesting materials from the historical archives.

As a final flourish, the navigation was built around a detailed animated 3D model of the tower.

Big Ben splash screen
Big Ben bell
Big Ben 3d map

The virtual experience will open the Elizabeth Tower to a huge worldwide audience, who can visit 24/7 from anywhere in the world. It is also fully web-accessible so as to be as inclusive as possible, in recognition of the fact that the real tower does not provide full access facilities.

We are proud to add this prestigious project to our portfolio alongside previous work with the Houses of Parliament and the Palace of Westminster.

Our special thanks to all those involved in organising the drone shoot – which set a new record for paperwork. From the Civil Aviation Authority, NATS, the Met Police, the Palace Estates team and the Serjeant-at-Arms. Plus of course Natural England, whose mandate to protect the Palace’s resident pair of Peregrine Falcons represented the final approval in what was to be a once-in-a-generation shoot.

Big Ben drone 1
Big Ben drone 2

If you’d like to find out more about our Virtual Tours, download our brand new factsheet today.