Looking back over the past century, London’s skyline has changed dramatically. Buildings have popped up across the city taller than ever and in a variety of impressive and unusual designs, shapes and sizes. The architecture of today’s buildings have transformed London’s skyline; it now looks a very different place than it did 90 years ago…
Built initially as a power station, the building changed use in the 20's. It was used for the production of Oxo Stock Cubes. Oxo were banned from advertising on the building itself, so the tower was designed with windows to spell out 'OXO' vertically.
Serves as the administrative centre of the University of London. 64 Metres Tall. It is Grade II listed and was extensively refurbished in 2006.
2,500 seater venue. The first post-war building to become grade I listed. Initial construction cost £2m. Refurbished at the cost of £111m in 2007 with the aim of improving acoustics.
Built in two halves, functioned as two separate power stations. Decommissioned in 1983 and has been out of use since. Grade II listed. Initial construction cost was around £2 million. Currently being redeveloped as part of a wider masterplan for the redevelopment of the Battersea area.
191m tall. It was the tallest building in London for almost 20 years. It is Grade II listed.
123m tall. Grade II listed.
148m tall, making it the tallest hospital in the world for some 30 years. Regained the title after a refurbishment. Construction cost of £10m. Given an exterior facelift in 2014.
Grade II listed since 1994. Contains 4 theatres with capcaities ranging from 1,160 to 225. Undergoing an £80 million refurbishment.
183m tall, still one of the tallest buildings in London today. Originally constructed to house the HQ of Natwest Bank; the tower itself, when viewed from above, forms the Natwest logo. The construction cost was £72m, which is the equivalent of around £278m today. Refurbished at the cost of £75m after a bombing in 1993. Today it is London's 8th tallest building.
Located within Canary Wharf, the hub of London's finance industry. At 235m tall, It was the UK's tallest building for over 20 years until The Shard was completed in 2012. It has 50 storeys, 3,960 windows and 4,388 steps. It is constructed from 27,000 tonnes of steel held together by 500,000 bolts. It was constructed at a cost of £624m.
Serves as the headquarters of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service. Constructed at a cost of £153m.
Reconstruction of the original globe theatre, which was destroyed by fire in 1613, rebuilt and demolished again in 1644. It stands just 230 metres from the site of the original, though is not a perfect replica. It has a capacity of 1,400. Its structure is made entirely of English Oak. It contains the only thatched roof permitted in London since The Great Fire in 1666.
Stands at 135m tall, with the wheel itself spanning a diameter of 120 metres. It was the World's tallest ferris wheel until 2006. Supported by an A-frame on one side only, giving it a unique cantilevered design. It is the UK's most popular paid tourist attraction, attracting 3.75 million visitors annually. It was constructed at a cost of £70m. It contains 32 ovaloid capsules, rotates constantly and takes around 30 minutes to complete one revolution.
Originally named the Millennium Dome, it was built to house the Millennium Exhibition. The exhibition proved unpopular, and after sitting empty for many years, the dome was converted into a 20,000 capacity muti-purpose arena reopening in June 2007. It is the 2nd largest arena in the UK but is the busiest in the world. The Dome itself cost £43m to construct.
Built as a headquarters for the Greater London Authority and office for the Mayor of London. It was built at a cost of £43m and stands at 45 metres tall. It contains a 500 metre long helical walkway at its centre.
Commonly refered to as 'The Gherkin'. It stands at 180 metres, and 41 storeys tall. It cost £138m to build. The building uses a number of energy-saving methods which allow it to consume around half of the energy that a similar building would use.
Built to replace the original Wembley Stadium and to serve as England's national football stadium. With a capacity of 90,000 it is the second largest stadium in Europe. It includes a partially retractable roof and a now-iconic 134 metre high arch above it. Construction costs were £757 million making it one of the most expensive stadia ever built. It has a circumference of 1 kilometre.
Home to around 1,000 residents in 408 apartments. It stands 148 metres and 43 storeys tall, costing in excess of £113m to build. It was one of the first buildings in the world to incorporate wind turbines as part of its structure. The building was designed with sustainability in mind and energy costs per flat are thought to be 40% less than the UK average.
At 230 metres and 46 storeys tall, Heron Tower is the 3rd tallest building in the UK. The project cost around £500m. Sustainability is a key theme of the building's design and it has achieved a BREEAM excellent rating. It also contains the largest privately owned aquarium in Europe.
Built for the 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Olympic Stadium is located in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, East London. It cost £486m to build, and construction began in 2007, completing in 2011 in time for the games. Post-olympics the stadium is being altered significantly for use as, primarily, a football stadium. This involves installing retractable seating and a new roof. The stadium has a capacity of 80,000 making it the third largest stadium in the UK.
Standing 309.6 metres tall, The Shard is the tallest building in London, The United Kingdom and the European Union. It is the 4th tallest in Europe and currently the 87th tallest in the world. It contains 95 floors, the last 20 or so of which are open-air platforms leading up its tapering spire. It features 11,000 panes of glass covering 56,000 square metres. It contains offices up to its 31st floor, 2 floors of restaurants, a Shangri La Hotel across 18 floors, residences for 12 floors topped by a 4 storey viewing gallery. The building cotains 44 lifts. 95% of its construction materials are recycled.
at 160 metres tall, 20 Fenchurch Street is the 5th tallest building in the City of London. It was originally proposed to be taller but was scaled down due to concerns regarding the visual impact on The Tower of London and St Pauls Cathedral. It cost in excess of £200m to construct.
Built at a cost of £286m, the 48 storey, 225 metre tall Leadenhall Building was designed by architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. It is currently the 4th tallest building in the United Kingdom. On the south side, each floor is set back 75 centimetres from the previous giving it a distinctive tapering form. It contains 61,000sq ft of office space.
Queen Elizabeth II was born at 2:40am on 21st April 1926 at 17 Bruton Street, Mayfair, London. Given the name Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, she was the first-born child of Prince Albert, Duke of York (who would later become King George) and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. As she was born before her grandfather’s death and uncle’s surprise abdication- at the time of her birth, no one would have imagined she was to become queen.
Elizabeth married Philip Mountbatten on 20th November 1947, whom she had first met aged 13 and had stayed close friends with for years before the two fell in love. Married wearing a dress she had paid for with ration tokens, her husband- who would become the Duke of Edinburgh, was a controversial choice. He was foreign born and had no kingdom, and Philip had to give up Greek and Danish titles as well as change his religion to marry her. Their love and marriage has prevailed however, and at 65 years, they hold the record for the longest marriage of any British monarch.
Children followed little under a year later. Prince Charles, born Charles Philip Arthur George, was Elizabeth and Philip’s first-born son and therefore became second in-line to the throne after The Queen herself. Born on 14th November 1948 at 9:14pm, his birth took place inside Buckingham Palace.
Elizabeth’s father had been ill for some time when he died on 6th February 1952- bringing the 25 year-old’s immediate accession to the throne. She was touring a remote part of Kenya when she was told of the news, and travelled back to the UK immediately. Her coronation took place sometime after on 2nd June 1953, and was a public spectacle on a previously unseen scale. It was the first such event to be televised, drawing some 20 million viewers.
The Queen celebrated 25 years on the throne in style back in 1977. Parties and parades were held throughout the UK and commonwealth in that year, culminating in June. She carried out a nationwide tour, whilst 7th June was a public holiday and the country was awash with street parties and celebrations. It is thought that some 500 million people around the world saw the televised coverage of the day’s events.
On 20th November 1997, The Queen and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh celebrated an incredible 50 years of marriage. World figures and leaders gathered to celebrate the event, while a people’s banquet was held in which members of the public were invited to join the couple at Buckingham Palace to celebrate.
2002 got off to a horrendous start for the Queen, who sadly lost her sister and mother just weeks apart in the first half of the year. She was determined her Golden Jubilee plans would go ahead unchanged though, and they did in June of that year. Parties and celebrations were held up and down the country and across the commonwealth, over a million people gathered on The Mall on 4th June and a special concert at Buckingham Palace took place- seen by some 200 million people.
Her Royal Highness became only the second monarch in British history to live long enough to celebrate a diamond jubilee in 2012. The event was marked by nationwide tours as well as international tours by members of her wider family. The event culminated with a 4-day bank holiday in June over which huge events too place- a river pageant (the first of its kind for 350 years), a picnic and garden party for 10,000 guests as well as a huge pop concert on the mall. Once again, thousands of street parties took place across the country.