London’s most well-known architectural designs guide, UK capital city property renewal advice

London’s Most Well-Known Architectural Designs

17 October 2022

England’s capital city London is a multicultural capital and a globally recognised tourist destination, winning visitors from Australia and beyond year-round. Not only is London a crucial centre for global business, but it is also home to a wide range of cultural exports that keep people coming back.

Aside from the obvious entrants in the form of Big Ben, the Millennium Eye, the Tower of London and even the Thames itself, there are some gold-standard landmarks of the architectural type. Here are three of London’s most well-known architectural marvels, and what makes them so.

London’s Most Well-Known Architectural Designs Listed

The Gherkin, 30 St. Mary Axe

The Gherkin tower building - London’s most well-known architectural designs

The land plot of 30 St. Mary Axe is perhaps home to the single most iconic building in London’s skyline, and a popular fixture as an identifier of location in any London-based montages – whether for the small screen or the big-budget blockbuster. That building is, of course, the Gherkin.

The Gherkin is named, unsurprisingly, for its unique torpedo-like shape; the Gherkin juts from London’s skyline as a signifier of might and spirit. The Gherkin has become a globally recognised structure since its completion in 2003, as an alternative to the scrapped Millennium Tower. It has also become a powerhouse location for international business, and even home (in part) to the UK’s branch of the Sky TV network.

The Cheesegrater, 122 Leadenhall Street

Straight across the road from the Gherkin can be found another distinctive construction, in the form of the Leadenhall Building on 122 Leadenhall Street – otherwise known as The Cheesegrater. So named through a quip by the City of London Corporation’s chief planning officer, The Cheesegrater is a wedged tower that scrapes the sky at over 200 metres tall.

The Cheesegrater was a work in progress for some years, having only officially opened as recently as 2014. Since opening, though, it has proven popular as a lucrative and central destination in London’s financial district. The floors are occupied by a variety of different businesses and enterprises including forex traders, capital investment bodies, insurance specialists and even UK banking organisations.

The Shard, 32 London Bridge Street

Barely half a mile from the Cheesegrater stands yet another of London’s towering triumphs; across the Thames, and casting an imposing shadow over Tower Bridge, stands The Shard. The Shard, at just shy of 310 metres in height, is the single largest building in the whole of the United Kingdom – and only 12 metres short of Australia’s own Q1 tower in terms of stature.

The Shard was officially completed in 2012, boasting 72 floors – including an accessible observation deck from which members of the public can enjoy unfettered views of London’s majesty. The tower was not short of detractors, being a serious imposition on London’s much statelier skyline. However, The Shard has soon become part of London’s fabric, a quintessential addition to a modern and ever-growing capital.

The Gherkin, 30 St. Mary Axe building:
The Gherkin, 30 St. Mary Axe - London’s most well-known architectural designs

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London Architectural Designs

London Architecture Designs – chronological list

London Architecture News

London Architect – design practice listing on e-architect

London Architecture Designs – architectural selection below:

The Royal College of Art, Howie Street
Architects: Herzog & de Meuron
Royal College of Art Battersea Campus

Museum of London in West Smithfield
New London Museum Smithfield Market Buildings
photo © Luke Hayes
New London Museum Smithfield Market

Houses of Parliament Restoration and Renewal
Houses of Parliament Restoration and Renewal


Residential Architecture

House Designs

House Extension Designs

Apartment Designs

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