London's skyscrapers

The Gherkin, slowly becoming hidden. Image credit: CGP Grey

London seems to be in a perpetual state of reconstruction and 2015 will be no different. It has recently been reported that London is soon set to surpass its 1939 population peak of 8.615 million and so, like it or not, the tower is the future for much of London’s housing stock. London seems to be in a perpetual state of reconstruction and 2015 will be no different. The last ten years have seen a number of skyscrapers of various sizes and shapes – often vegetable shaped – spring up in the capital. The Shard has been wooing guests at 240 metres plus for two years, the recently opened Walkie Talkie tower is now melting hearts instead of cars and The Pinnacle is still a stump in the ground, but that’s no reason to suggest that 2015 has no tricks up its sleeves. With up to 230 towers approved in the city, many due to start this year, there is enough development to stoke the interest of any skyscraper enthusiast.

Top 10 skyscrapers under construction in 2015:

  1. One Blackfriars: One Blackfriars

South London is booming. Image credit: London SE1

If the Shard was lampooned as ‘a shard of glass through the heart of historic London’ then this will surely be a boomerang swung through the heart of historic London. But everyone likes boomerangs, right? Anyway, One Blackfriars will arguably have as big an impact on Central London as The Shard. Situated on a bend in the River Thames, it will have a notable presence from many vistas, sprucing up the otherwise forgettable Blackfriars Road and a tatty section of riverfront on the Southbank. The 163 metre building will have some of the best views in the capital.

  1. The Scalpel tower Scalpel Tower

The Scalpel will literally scrape the sky. Image Credit: NCE

After the Cheesegrater, Gherkin and Walkie Talkie towers finished, many thought that The City would go all quiet on us, but it has life in it yet! 52-54 Lime Street might start this year, as demolition is finishing on site. The ‘Scalpel’ was designed not only as a visual counterpart to the Cheesegrater but, just as that building was designed to slope back as not to intrude on the vista towards St Paul’s Cathedral from Fleet Street, the scalpel is slanted in order to disappear behind the cathedral in the same view. This leaves the pair ominously lingering behind the cathedral like a pair of scissors.

  1. Newfoundland Tower Newfoundland Tower

A diamond in the rough of Canary Wharf. Image Credit: CN Plus

Canary Wharf will be the place to watch in 2015 as it attempts to shake off its image as a soulless haven for corporations and forge a new identity as a residential area with amenities and families. Newfoundland Tower or ‘The Diamond Tower’ signals Canary Wharf finally shedding its boxy architecture for a unique, diamond shaped design. Site preparations are underway and once finished it will become one of the tallest buildings in the Wharf and a dead cert for Wharf landmark.

  1. Baltimore Tower Baltimore Tower

Baltimore Tower throws a curveball at Canary Wharf. Image credit:Urban 75

Possibly the first building in Canary Wharf with a curve to it, Baltimore Tower is the latest and certainly not the last in a string of residential towers that are slowly helping to shed the longstanding image of Canary Wharf as a staid and soulless office zone. The tower twists up to a lofty 150 metres.

  1. Wood Wharf Wood Wharf

Wood Wharf contains more than 30 buildings over 100 metres. Image Credit:Dezeen 

Many of London’s 230 planned towers are in Canary Wharf. With a whopping 30 buildings in development, the Wood Wharf development will markedly expand the Canary Wharf estate. A circular building by Tate Modern architects Herzog and De Meuron is the centrepiece of the development.

  1. One Nine Elms One Nine Elms

Towering over towers. Image Credit: Nine Elms London

Joining the tower club is the Vauxhall/Battersea/Nine Elms regeneration area, bringing an industrialised district on the fringes of Central London into the urban fabric of the city. This latest offering is part of a new generation of residential towers for the area. It replaces the Vauxhall market twin towers with new twin towers twice the size. It’s intended to mark the transformation of the area from a forgotten wasteland and ’70s office zone into a vertiginous residential area.

  1. 100 Bishopsgate 100 Bishopsgate

A bit of filler for The City. Image Credit: Skyscrapernews

100 Bishopsgate has languished in financial limbo for a couple of years now. The vacant site, along with the Pinnacle’s, has left Bishopsgate in a bit of a state. Although the office building is not the most innovative of designs, it will fill out the burgeoning city skyline.

  1. Principal Tower Principal Tower

Principally awesome. Image Credit: Londonist

2015 will be a year of city fringe developments, spreading out the skyline further north, bridging the gap between city and Shoreditch. The building is designed by Gherkin architects Foster & Partners.

  1. Lexicon and Canaletto Lexicon

Slick, water side living. Image Credit: Mount Anvil

  Canaletto Tower

Canaletto adds the finishing touch to this corner of Old Street. Image Credit: Dezeen

Although entirely separate designs, the two neighbouring buildings have given City Road shot of drama. They should be game changers in terms of design quality and materials, Canaletto with its neo ’70s brushed steel and Lexicon its slick modernism, in short, what all London developments should aspire to!

  1. Southbank tower Southbank Tower

A feat of engineering. Image Credit: Future City

This deserves inclusion just for the fact that its construction is a feat of engineering. The former Kings Reach building, once home to IPC Media has had floors built on the top of old building, raising it from 112 metres to 155 metres, Want to know more about London’s ever changing architecture? Why not come and join Insider London on one of our modern architecture or sustainable architecture walking tours