The Incredible New Buildings Reshaping London's Skyline

London The Shard

Photo: London Bridge Quarter Website

In the wake of the Royal Wedding, London is gearing up for another massive celebration, this one of sports.The city is preparing for the 2012 Olympics, and many of the major venues for the ceremonies are already finished.

But it’s not just new stadia reshaping the look of London for 2012. Some major skyscraper projects are set to finish at the same time, or slightly thereafter, reshaping the visuals of one of the world’s most impressive cities.

It is a radical plan for a city that has traditionally shunned high-rises in favour of a historic views of buildings like St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Despite the so-called “host city curse” and the pains of austerity, it seems London is in the midst of a massive makeover that will reshape the world’s view of the capital.

The aquatic centre is almost complete, with the last tile in place as of April

Source: BBC News

The building was designed by Iraqi-British Architect Zaha Hadid


The centrepiece Oympic Stadium has received mixed reviews

'It's a bowl of blancmange,' wrote the London Times Marcus Binney, referencing a creamy, gelatinous dessert similar to vanilla pudding in the U.S.

The 80,000 seat stadium will be taken over by soccer team West Ham United after the Olympics

After the Olympics it will be sold to West Ham United FC, who will reduce the capacity to 60,000.

17,000 athletes will live in the Athletes' Village


The village will be converted after the Olympics

With 1,379 affordable homes and world class education facilities.

The area will be adjoined by the 2012 Olympic Park

The 500-acre park will be renamed the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park after the 2012 Games.

The Heron, a tower in the City of London, opened this year

The Shard will open in 2012 and be Europe's tallest building

At 1,016 feet tall, it will be the 45th tallest building in the world.

The skyscraper will be home to a 5-star hotel

As well as offices, bars, apartments and a viewing gallery on the 72nd floor.

An extension is planned for The Tate Modern

The world class modern art gallery, housed in a former power station, will be getting a radical extension that aims to help it cope with its four and a half million yearly visitors (for comparison, MOMA gets 3 million). It's expected to be finished by 2012.

The Pinnacle will miss the Olympics

The Pinnacle, aka The Bishopsgate Tower, suffered from funding problems that stalled its completion. It's now expected to be finished in 2013.

So will 20 Fenchurch Street

The building, also known as the 'Walkie Talkie' due to its mobile phone-like shape, has been hit with multiple planning problems. It now hopes to open in 2014.

It will stand at 524 feet when finished, and will have a rooftop garden.

Yet another skyscraper with an odd nickname, it will stand at 737 feet tall in London's financial district.

Worried this may be the sign of another housing bubble?

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