These Insane New Buildings Will Change London Forever

London The Shard

Photo: London Bridge Quarter Website

Slowly but surely, London is gearing up for the 2012 summer Olympics — though we have good reason to be doubtful about the logistics of the games, the hope is that they will leave a permanent mark on the city.But it’s not just new stadia changing the look of London. 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.

The aquatics centre was completed in July 2011, with the 180,000th tile fitted last April.


The building was designed by Iraqi-British Architect Zaha Hadid.


The centrepiece Olympic 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.

There's also been controversy over who will actually keep the stadium after the Olympics are over.

(Source: AP)

16,000 athletes are due to live in 2,800 apartments in the Athletes' Village.

Source: London 2012

The village will be converted after the Olympics, with 1,379 affordable homes and world class education facilities.

Source: London 2012

The area will be adjoined by the 2012 Olympic Park

The 500-acre park will be converted into the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park by 2014. It will have 11,000 new homes, 11 schools and nurseries, and aims to create up to 10,000 jobs at new 'employment hubs'.

The 376 feet high ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture has proved striking but controversial.

(Source: BI)

There's more than the Olympics, however. The Heron, a tower in the City of London, opened in 2011

It's the tallest building in the City of London at 230 meters (755 feet), and was named best commercial workplace in London in April 2012.

Source: Heron Tower

The Shard, Europe's tallest building, will officially open on July 5, 2012.

At 1,016 feet tall, it is 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.

Source: The Shard

The recession, however, means that it is struggling to find tenants.

Source: Reuters

Other buildings won't be ready so soon. A planned extension for The Tate Modern has been delayed

The modern art gallery, housed in a former power station, is getting a radical extension to help it cope with its four-and-a-half million yearly visitors (for comparison, MoMA gets 3 million).

It was meant to be finished by summer 2012, but has run into funding trouble and will only be partly ready. The projected completion date is now December 2016.

The Pinnacle will miss the Olympics. It is suffering from funding problems and is now expected to be finished by 2013/2014.

Source: Skyscraper News

Source: The Guardian

Source: Bloomberg

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