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London Architecture


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Futuristic vision of the City of London The tallest skyscraper planned for the City of London may never become reality, its lead architect admits - as a BBC investigation raises questions over the capital’s future skyline. Amid the clamour that accompanied the completion of the Shard, something was amiss.The UK’s tallest skyscraper did not have a single financial tenant in place.


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New Architecture in London


The completion of the Walkie Talkie and the Cheesegrater will bring to an end the current cycle of skyscraper development. But Peter Murray, chairman of London’s Centre for the Built Environment - an architectural forum - sounded a note of optimism.He said: “I’ve seen four recessions during my career - and in each one I’ve heard people say, ‘Look at all this empty office space, why do we need it?’ “And after each one as the economy has improved, it has become occupied. “In the long term I am very optimistic about the City, because the City has shown throughout history that it is able to deal with pestilence, bombing, blitzes, fires, all those things. “It bounces back.”


The history of tall structures in London began with the completion of the 27-metre (90 ft) White Tower, a part of the Tower of London, in 1098. The first structure to surpass a height of 100 metres (328 ft) was Old St Paul’s Cathedral. Completed in 1310, the cathedral stood at a height of 150 metres (493 ft). It was the world’s tallest structure until 1311, when its height was surpassed by Lincoln Cathedral in Lincoln, England. It regained the title when the spire of the Lincoln Cathedral fell in 1549.


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By Edward Cook


London editorial