England Europe Travel Diary

Guide to London’s modern architecture

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0) | Credit to: © User:Colin
London’s modern architecture is shaping the skyline of the city. (Image Source: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0) | Credit to: © User:Colin)

Architects are going all out and trying to out do each other in the quest to design a building that most resembles our everyday things.

In London, a series of modern architecture have become tourist attractions and whether the Londoners like it or not, becoming so popular that more is being built!

Love them or hate them, they are here to stay. What will you set your eyes on in London?

The magnificent Shard

The Shard is possibly the stunning of all modern architecture in London. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) | Credit to: Mariordo)
The Shard is possibly the stunning of all modern architecture in London. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) | Credit to: Mariordo)

Possibly the most noticeable and modern architure building in London, and the first skyscraper to grace the south side of the Thames.

The Shard is what it is – sharp and pointy like a piece of broken glass which is now the location of the luxurious Shangri-La Hotel boasting the best views of London from a hotel room.

The whacky Gherkin

Image source: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0) | Credit to: Marcus Holland-Moritz
I’ve always though the Gherkin is just a bit rude! (Image source: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0) | Credit to: Marcus Holland-Moritz)

Before the Shard was constructed, this was ‘the’ building of London. Who doesn’t know this phallus-shaped building nicknamed The Gherkin? (I suppose this is a lot more appropriate than something else it could be called!)

Officially known as ’30 St Mary Axe’, the Gherkin was completed in Dec 2003 and was seen as the ‘future’ of skyscrapers.

The fittingly named Cheesegrater

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0) | Credit to: © User:Colin
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0) | Credit to: © User:Colin

Officially known as ‘The Leadenhall Building’, this slanted shiny structure has been described as ‘the cheesegrater’ and the nickname stuck.

Yep, from here onwards the architects are out of ideas and have decided to take inspiration out of everyday items.

So much like a cheese grater that even the horizontal lines across the mid-drift of the building look as sharp as those grater blades can be.

The car melting Walkie-Talkie

Image source: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0) | Credit to: Darren Glanville
Image source: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0) | Credit to: Darren Glanville

This will look more like an old Nokia mobile phone than the traditional walkie talkie, but the idea is there.

Due to its curved facade, it was reported that this design of a modern architecture have reflected the occasional sunshine this city gets and was melting bicycles and cars parked under the building!

However, I believe deflection shades has been installed on various parts of the building and this hazard has since been fixed, so never fear!

The slick Armadillo (London City Hall)

Image source: Wikimedia Commons Public Domain | Credit to: Tognopop
Image source: Wikimedia Commons Public Domain | Credit to: Tognopop

This is essentially the town hall of London. When you think of a government building, one often think of something more historically grand such as the Rathauses of Germany,but no, only an armadillo will do for the City of London!

The not too useful Razor

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) | Credit to:Cmglee
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) | Credit to:Cmglee

This is one of the tallest residential building in the city, and looks exactly like how an old fashioned electric razor. The three wind turbines on top of the building is supposed to be producing a combined 50MWh of electricity per year.

Not much, but hey, it goes on the green credentials.

The Sonic Screwdriver

Image source: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0) | Credit to: Dunc(an)
Image source: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0) | Credit to: Dunc(an)

This nickname is from me and not official, but any Doctor Who fans will tell you this definitely is the sonic screwdriver!

The BT Tower was opened back in 1965 and celebrated its 50th birthday last year, which gives it a historical significance in the country’s telecommunication heritage.

The revolving restaurant on top of the tower opened for the first time after 35 years last year, and is already attracting visitors as much as the Shard!

Skyscrapers under construction

London is not stopping with the above, and more skyscrapers and other oddly shaped (mostly phallic not surprisingly) buildings being planned for the future, with equally fascinating nicknames.

The Can of Ham is currently under construction to compliment the gherkin and cheese(grater) – because ham does in fact, go well with gherkins and cheeses, and The Scalpel will also be built nearby, perhaps to slice the gherkin?

All these make the London skyline look interesting at least!

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