I’m sure most of us have heard of the Gherkin building - properly named as 30 St Mary Axe. But, have you heard of the new skyscrapers being built in London? There’s the Shard of Glass, the Walkie Talkie, the Helter Skelter, and the Cheesegrater. All of which are under construction. Aditionally, there’s Heron Tower, a newly completed 46 storey skyscraper in Bishopsgate.
There are two arguments going around, one from leading architect, Ken Shuttleworth, predicting the end of the London skyscraper boom, and another from French banking giant BNP Paribas that London will need four Shards of City space in the next three years.
Whom to believe? I’m more inclined to the view that London will have more skyscrapers. It was many years between the completion of the NatWest Tower in 1980 [now known as Tower 42], to the arrival of the Gherkin in 2004. This was partly, yet importantly, due to the IRA bomb in Bishopsgate and to the fear of future bombs. This led to a pent-up demand for new and larger buildings in the City, supported by the emergence of London as, possibly, the world’s financial centre, which surely must mean a continuation in new buildings.
Forgetting these arguments, let’s look at these new skyscrapers,
- The Gherkin, 40 storeys - 30 St Mary Axe
- The Heron Tower, 44 storeys – 110 Bishopsgate
- The Shard of Glass, 72 storeys – London Bridge Quarter
- The Helter Skelter or Pinnacle, 64 storeys – 22-24 Bishopsgate
- The Cheesegrater, 48 storeys - 122 Leadenhall Street
- The Walkie Talkie, 36 storeys – 20 Fenchurch Street
If this has raised your interest in London’s tall buildings, then a visit to Wikipedia’s page on List of London’s tallest buildings may well satisfy. One things for certain, London’s skyline is changing fast.