London has long been a mega-polis and home to many skyscrapers and other rather tall structures. This was made possible in the 1960s when many changes in the way the city was governed were made. Those included a variety of things, from the way London rubbish removals were handled, to the administrative division of the territory into the modern-day boroughs to the lifting of the building restrictions in terms of height for structures in the capital due to the building boom at the time. The last change is actually the one that made possible the existence of such towering buildings such as:
- The Shard
Also known as the Shard of Glass, Shard London Bridge or London Bridge Tower, it is the tallest man-made structure in London at the current moment. The Shard stands in Southwark and dominates central London’s landscape with its imposing 1016 ft, spread at 96 floors. Much of the building is owned by the State of Qatar. The space is leased for offices, restaurants, a TV studio for Al Jazeera English and much more.
- One Canada Square
This is the tallest among the recently built skyscrapers in the business district of Canary Wharf. It used to be the tallest building in the UK between 1990 and 2010, before the opening of the Shard. One Canada Square rises to 770 feet and has 50 floors in total. The lower ground floors of One Canada Square are used for hosting retail units, but primarily the building is used for offices. Cesar Pelli is the architect who stands behind the design, which is by the way inspired by the World Financial Centre in NYC and the Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben).
- Heron Tower
Heron Tower is officially the tallest building in the financial district of City of London. It is 755 feet high and is fashioned with a 92 feet mast on top. The construction of Heron Tower began in 2007 and was completed in 2011. The prestigious law firm McDermott Will & Emery, Starwood Capital Group, recruitment firm Harvey Nash and the pensions company Partnership Assurance are among the prominent tenants of the skyscraper. In addition to one of the major business and commercial buildings in the City, Heron has also managed to become a prominent landmark and tourist attraction in London.
- 122 Leadenhall Street
The Leadenhall Building is 737 feet tall and is to be found in the City of London. It has been designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. It is to be found right across another famous building by the same firm – Lloyd’s building, though this one is considerably taller. The building has a rather unique design which leads to the nickname Cheesegrater. It was reported that the decision for the design was made in order to protect the view over St Paul’s Cathedral from Fleet Street. The reported cost of the construction of the Leadenhall Building was £286 million.
- The Crystal Palace Transmitter
The Crystal Palace Transmitter is the only structure in the Top 5 list of tallest buildings in London that is not a skyscraper. It is a broadcasting and telecommunications site in the borough of Bromley. Owners and operators of the structure are the people from the Arqiva company. The Crystal Palace Transmitter was built in 1956. It became the first transmitter of HDTV signal in UK in May 2006, testing the signal to a trial group of 450 London households by transmitting the programs of BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five. As of 2009, the Crystal Palace Transmitter is also one of the first DVB-T2 transmitters in the world.