In May 1984 Prince Charles made a passionate speech during the 150th anniversary of the Royal Institute of British Architects at Hampton Court Palace where he said some modern buildings were like “monstrous carbuncles on the face of a much loved and elegant friend”
Fast-forward to 2016 and there are currently 250 skyscrapers planned or actually being constructed in London. Many are office buildings especially in the city and others are residential or a mix. There is one planned in Paddington which consists a 224 metre cylindrical tower, and has been criticised by some saying that it will overshadow the whole of the Paddington area.
Some people like the new skyscrapers though, referring to them affectionately with nicknames such as “The Shard”, “Gerkin” and “Walkie Talkie” and they have quickly become part of London’s skyline both in the day and night.
With the population of London projected to rise by two million people in the next thirty years to a population of ten and a half million, many argue that skyscrapers will become essential. Most of the major cities around the world have scores of skyscrapers; from New York and Shanghai to Dubai and Hong Kong. If London is to keep its position as one of the worlds greatest cities shouldn’t it also host some of the most stunning new buildings?
Should we keep building skyscrapers all over London or just in designated areas like the city? Is it time we relaxed planning laws and built many more skyscrapers that offer “affordable housing” rather than just investments for the wealthy. Are skyscrapers ruining London’s skyline or are they inevitable in a growing and modern major city?