The Architecture of London


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The Architecture of ... London! Welcome to our new series looking at the architecture of 7 of the worlds most well known cities. This is a huge series, packed full of facts, opinions, videos and of course photos! 

Firstly, we are starting off with our home city of London and due to its size, London as with many other cities does not retain just one main architectural style. London was originally founded in 43 AD by the Romans who named it Londinium. There, that's our first interesting fact over and done with!

Few structures that where built before 1666 are still here now since many where destroyed by the Great Fire of London, except the Tower of London. Still remaining is the Grand Westminster Abbey, a Gothic church built between 1540 and 1550, the Banqueting House, built between 1619 and 1622 and and several scattered Tudor buildings.

A Panorama of London's skyline

The city contains many different styles of buildings, from Christopher Wren's 17th Century Churches, to the 18th and 19th Century financial institutions,such as the Royal Exchange. More modern building styles include the 1980's Tower 42, the Lloyds building and the 2004 30 St Mary Axe building, otherwise known as the Gherkin.

File:Canary Wharf at night, from Shadwell cropped.jpg
Canary Wharf at Night
London has a generally low rise skyline with just a few skyscrapers towering over the rest. These include, One Canada Square in Canary Wharf and the BT Tower. Many high rise buildings are banned from central London to protect the views of St. Paul's Cathedral. This however does not stop the construction of high rise buildings in other parts of London, such as the new Shard London Bridge skyscraper, which is currently the second tallest building in Europe. 

Georgian Buildings in London

During the Georgian era, London expanded greatly with many buildings in London having the distinctive Georgian house style. Sash windows which are rectangular are common in London ,especially in many houses. Other Georgian features shown in many London homes are parapets which cleverly hide the roof. From ground level this gives the idea of the roof being flat but from in reality it is actually sloped. Another common Georgian feature in London is that most suburban buildings are constructed from London Stock Brick. This brick has a yellowish colour and after centuries of pollution will now look grey. Wealthier houses, commonly in areas such as Kensington are usually rendered with stucco to prolong the life and colour. The use of stucco also indicates wealth.

Well, that's the architecture of London in a nutshell. Check back next week to take a look at the next article I wonder which city it will be?

Tom Marland
ArchitectWeekly Writer

Cite this article:
"The Architecture of London" 3/15/2013. ArchitectWeekly. Accessed .