236 towers to reshape London skyline

2014-03-13 22:24
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The Shard - Europe's tallest building

Europe's tallest skyscraper the Shard has been inaugurated in London in a dazzling sound and light show befitting its status as the capital's brashest and most controversial building.

London - More than 230 new towers are planned to sprout in central London in a radical transformation of the skyline, an architectural think-tank said on Thursday.

New London Architecture said 236 tall buildings of 20 storeys or more are proposed, approved or under construction in London.

In a city where most towers have traditionally been dedicated to office space, demand is now being led by residential use to profit from some of the highest property prices in the world.

Eighty percent of the planned towers - of which half already have planning approval - will be sold for private flats, the report says.

The highest building in the European Union is the Shard, a glass-clad, skyscraper in London which measures 306m. It opened to the public last year, and houses offices, restaurants, a hotel and viewing areas.

It eclipsed 1 Canada Square, a 50-storey, 244m high tower in the Canary Wharf financial district, which had been Britain's tallest building for the previous 20 years.

This will seem even smaller when the latest round of developments are complete, as two of the towers approved for construction are 75 storeys high.

The NLA report also highlights how much of the new development is taking place in east London, the poorest part of the capital.

Tower Hamlets, one of London's most deprived boroughs which is also home to Canary Wharf, has the most applications for tall buildings with 55 of the 236.

All of which makes for a boom time for architects.

Piers Gough, of the CZWG architectural practice, told The Times: "Towers are about London realising it is insanely popular and getting its mojo back."

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