The only way is up.
London’s skyline is expanding at a dizzying rate, according to new research from New London Architecture. There are now 510 tall buildings planned for the city, each with 20 storeys or more, and 115 of them are already under construction.
As the video shows, change is coming to every cornery of our metropolis. There are huge clusters of buildings in Canary Wharf and the Greenwich peninsula, along with the continuing verticalisation of the old City of London district. [See also: this aircraft will whisk Londoners to NYC in 3¼ hours from 2024.]
But skies are also set for a scraping everywhere, from Croydon (27 new skyscrapers) to Newham (39) and Southwark (a dizzying 48.) Leading the pack is Tower Hamlets, with a record 85 skyscrapers now on the cards – indeed, almost half of all building will be in east London.
And we won’t all be looking up at them; instead, we’ll be living in them. 90% of all the planned skyscrapers will be residential, creating 100,000 new homes in the capital. That’s only enough to deal about two years of population growth, mind you, but it’s a start. [Related: Here’s what the tube map will look like by 2040]
It’ll only help if these apartments are actually affordable, of course – over half of London’s luxury apartments failed to sell last year, leading to uninhabited buildings evocatively nicknamed ‘posh ghost towers.’ But there’s no question we really do need to increase the density and provision of housing if we’re going to make housing more affordable, and perhaps a recent glut of upward construction has helped contribute to London’s house prices falling slightly for the first time in years.
Increasingly, though, Londoners won’t be buying these properties at all. 30% of the new residencies are ‘build to rent’. Rather than selling off apartments to wealthy investors who then rent them out (or leave them empty while their value magically rises), developers are now going to do it all themselves.
In any case, the future seems to belong to Londoners who don’t have a fear of heights. And likely, by 2025, we’ll have started calling ‘rooftop bars‘ simply ‘bars.’