A Modern Revamp of London’s Skyline

England is home to iconic buildings rich with history and flair. Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and Windsor Castle have been around for centuries.  As London continues to grow so does the skyline.  Taller buildings can house more residents, a problem which Mayor Sadiq Khan attributes to “a systematic failure for decades to build enough new homes that are genuinely affordable.”  He has called for 66,000 new homes to be built each year.  There are 541 tall buildings (20 stories or taller) planned or under construction, a record for the city.

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Some of the more elaborate structures stand out and showcase why London continues to be an architectural hub.  The Gherkin for example totals 500,000 square feet, is aerodynamic, looks spectacular and does not ruin the skyline.  It is easy to see why it was the winner of several awards (Stirling Prize, London Region Award, Emporis Skyscraper Award) when observing the sleek design outside and the chic style inside.

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There are people hesitant about tall buildings for fear it will take away from tourist and historic sites such as the Tower of London. Heathrow and experts in aviation oppose some buildings over 300 meters due to risks for planes and changes to flight paths.  22 Bishopsgate in the city had its plans for 307 meter building rejected and reduced to 288 meters.  

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The newest human made marvel coming to London however will be ‘The Tulip’ which is planned to be 1000 feet high (304 M).  With stunning 360 degree views to enjoy in the restaurant and bar, gondola pods on the sides, internal bridges and glass slides, it is sure to be an attraction with estimates over one millions visitors annually. Innovative design for zero combustion energy, interactive guides on the city history and an education center make this building stand out for more than just the size.  With 20,000 free visits a year for kids from state schools, company found Norman Foster said it would be “a cultural and social landmark with unmatched educational resources for future generations.”  Construction begins in 2020 and is planned to open in 2025.

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