London is in the midst of an unprecedented architectural boom, with around 510 tall towers – those with more than 20 stories – planned or under construction in the next decade.
Much of this development will take place in the next two years.
As new buildings spring up along the waterfront, residents are bracing for the sudden transformation of their neighbourhoods.
Forthcoming structures include a 26-story high-rise with a rock-climbing window and a mixed-used development with the world’s first “floating” swimming pool.
Here are nine of the most stunning skyscrapers that will transform the London skyline by 2020.
The project – formerly known as The Pinnacle – was rebranded after developers ran out of money in 2012. The new building, which will be completed in 2019, features a rock-climbing window on the 42nd floor for some of its more adventurous tenants.
Can of Ham
Yes, that’s actually the nickname for this 24-story office building, which bears a slight resemblance to potted meat. The structure won planning approval in 2008, but its construction was delayed due to the financial crisis.
Once completed, it will join two other food-themed structures: the Gherkin (named after a type of pickled fruit) and the Leadenhall Building, also known as “the Cheesegrater.”
The central London neighbourhood is in its third and final phase of construction. In addition to hosting the US Embassy, Embassy Gardens offers nearly 2,000 residences and 130,000 square feet of retail and dining space.
Its key architectural feature is Sky Pool, the world’s first “floating” swimming pool, which stretches between two buildings. The project’s Linear Park also provides 24-7 pedestrian access. It was inspired by the High Line in New York City.
Construction on the Chelsea Waterfront is well underway, with developers working on a trio of riverside buildings consisting of two glass residential towers and the redeveloped Lots Road power station.
The shorter of the two towers, Tower West, was unveiled to the public in June. Apartments are said to start at around $US2.6 million.
Manhattan Loft Gardens
Manhattan Loft Gardens is both a hotel and an apartment complex, featuring 145 boutique hotel rooms and 248 residential units. As its name suggests, the high-rise also features three rooftop gardens that overlook Olympic Park.
In mid-September, the building announced it was getting ready to open its doors, starting with the launch of its residential units.
The Corniche is part of a trio of luxury developments along the Thames River in South London. The first to be built, Merano, was completed in 2016. The Corniche is next in line, with a scheduled opening in November.
With buildings ranging from 15 to 27 stories, The Corniche has been dubbed “the largest and most extravagant” of the three developments. In addition to its bar, gym, pool, and spa, the building has set aside a handful of affordable units for senior citizens.
One Nine Elms
Completion of One Nine Elms isn’t scheduled until 2019, but the towers have already sold out of their available units. At 56 stories, the dual skyscrapers are part of the largest reconstruction project in Europe, located in London’s Nine Elms neighbourhood.
The buildings replace the now-defunct Market Towers, which were built in the 1970s. Once completed, the new project will feature a five-star hotel, private homes, and a mix of office and retail space.
At 784 feet tall, Landmark Pinnacle offers 360-degree views of the city and River Thames – the kind one might only experience from an aeroplane or helicopter.
The first round of residential units, which start at around $US587,000, are expected to be finished by March 2020.
At 50 stories high, One Blackfriars is London’s tallest residential tower. Upon completion at the end of the year, the skyscraper will feature more than 270 apartment units and a boutique hotel with more than 160 bedrooms.
Its design – which has garnered the nickname “the Vase” – was inspired by a glass Scandanavian vessel owned by the architect, Ian Simpson.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.