Taller, shinier, showier: for better or worse 450 new skyscrapers are due to arrive in London over the next fews years. Here are seven that are set to make an impact on our skyline, from Canary Wharf to Croydon.
Due 2020, Docklands
Sculpted like a vast vertically formatted ship about to set sail on the Thames, Spire will be 771 feet – the height of two Big Bens – when it’s completed in 2020. Dominating Docklands, it will feature a swanky gym, a spa, a cinema, a dining club and a luxury hotel. Sounds titanic (in a non-catastrophic way, hopefully).
The hanging gardens of Stratford
Due 2018, Olympic Park
The David Blaine of buildings is almost complete and ready to mystify visitors to E20. Manhattan Loft Gardens will open in 2018, promising three vertiginous green spaces. Meanwhile, the gravity-defying design makes it look like the top section is floating unsuspended. Not sure where the ‘Manhattan’ bit is.
The 8-bit apartments
Due 2021, Croydon
This jigsaw puzzle of a building is One Lansdowne Road, a new skyscraper that’s planned to start climbing on to Croydon’s skyline next year. Reaching the dizzying height of 775 feet, ‘The Croydon Cuboid’ will be taller than the Cheesegrater, the Gherkin and Heron Tower when it’s done in 2021. Which is pretty good for something that looks like a Windows screensaver from 1999.
The drowned world
Due 2020, Leamouth Peninsula
You know in sci-fi movies when they show big cities after climate change has flooded the Earth? Thousands of people in silver boiler suits, crammed into skyscrapers built on tiny islands? Well, the future is here: except in this version there’s way more exposed brick. A hip new neighbourhood has arrived on Leamouth Peninsula, bounded by water on all sides but one. The 12-acre site will also house the English National Ballet and an arts club, so society hasn’t broken down completely.
The skinny dipper
Due 2019, Nine Elms
Even if you’ve not got a huge wodge of cash to spend on an uber-decadent penthouse flat at Embassy Gardens, the new building is sure to spice up your view of the city. Why? The two blocks of apartments will be joined together by a swimming pool with a see-through floor. Let’s hope nobody loses their cozzie.
The one big finger
Due 2025, the City
‘Undershaft’ might sound more like a blaxploitation sidekick than a property development, but this Quality Street Toffee Finger-shaped tower will one day be the tallest in the city. Nicknamed ‘The Trellis’ for its cross-bracing, the building will sit on a raised platform, creating a public hangout below and the highest public viewing gallery in the UK at the top. The Shard must be quaking in its glass slippers.
The last of the cheese
Due 2019, the City
Seventeen football pitches. That’s how much office space there’s going to be in this £1billion tower block coming to bankerland. The site was originally going to be ‘The Pinnacle’, a swish curved building that ground to a halt during the economic crisis. Now 22 Bishopsgate looks more like an irregularly grated block of cheese, that’ll be almost as tall as the Shard when it’s finished. See ya later, sky.