London Architecture: have we lost the design edge? bours at Canary Wharf and the BT Tower in Fitzrovia very noticeable from a distance. Highrise development is restricted at certain sites if it would obstruct protected views of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Nevertheless, there are plans for more skyscrapers in central London (see Tall buildings in London), including the 72-story “Shard of Glass”, which is now In itself, the City contains completed and is cura wide variety of styles, rently the tallest building progressing through in the European Union. Wren’s late 17th century churches and the financial institutions of the 18th and 19th Century such as the Royal Exchange and the Bank of England, to the early 20th century Old Bailey (England and Wales’ central criminal court) and the 1960s Barbican Estate. Notable recent buildings are the 1980s skyscraper Tower 42, the Lloyd’s building with services running along the outside of the structure, Other notable modern and the 2004 Swiss Re buildings include City building, known as the Hall in Southwark with its distinctive ovular shape, “Gherkin”. the British Library in London’s generally low- Somers Town, the Great rise nature makes these Court of the British Muskyscrapers and others seum, and the striking such as One Canada Millennium Dome next Square and its neigh- to the Thames east of London is not characterised by any particular architectural style, having accumulated its buildings over a long period of time. Few structures predate the Great Fire of 1666, notable exceptions including the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Banqueting House and several scattered Tudor survivors in the City of London.
Canary Wharf. The disused (but soon to be rejuvenated) 1933 Battersea Power Station by the river in the southwest is a local landmark, whilst some railway termini are excellent examples of Victorian architecture, most notably St Pancras and Paddington (at least internally). London County Council was responsible for public housing projects such as the Edwardian Bourne Estate in Holborn. Several monuments pay homage to people and events in the city. The Monument in the City of London provides views of the surrounding area whilst commemorating the Great Fire of London which originated nearby. Marble Arch and Wellington Arch, at the north and south ends of Park Lane respectively, have royal connections, as do the Albert Memorial and Royal Albert Hall in Kensington. Nelson’s Column is a nationally recognised monument in Trafalgar Square, providing a focal point for the whole central area. By Jayvin Sudra