Recently, there have been reports of Britain’s construction industry suffering from it’s ‘least optimistic’ period for five years. A slump that the reports put down to ‘fears over Brexit’ and ‘an economic slowdown’. However, the construction industry in London is still alive and there are plans underway for the building of some truly awe-inspiring structures. Created from a range of supplied concrete, steel & glass.
One Merchant Square, Westminster
Perhaps the upcoming London’s most famous residential development, One Merchant Square, the latest unusually-shaped skyscraper to be put into development. Also nicknamed as ‘The Cucumber’. The 491 ft. structure includes 222 residential units, as well as a 90-room boutique hotel and even a’ sky bar’ at the very top. The Cucumber seems to have everything required for luxury modern living.
Outdoors, the complex will offer a ‘water maze’, so residents (or hotel guests) can enjoy a peaceful garden square within London’s constant motion. The Cucumber is designed by Robin Partington, who won the Carbuncle Cup for Strata, the residential block in Elephant & Castle which incorporates three wind turbines in its construction.
The building is expected to be completed in 2018. The structural material of choice is concrete – even the tallest of buildings can rely on its durability and strength!
London City Island, Newham
While One Merchant Square is one of the tallest developments in London, London City Island is far more expansive and generally ambitious than any one building. As the name suggests, the development is an island in central London. It serves as the foundation for a residential complex of the utmost modernity and style.
It’s a 12 acre site and surrounded by water but connected to ‘mainland’ London by a bespoke, specially commissioned bridge. Described as offering a ‘warehouse aesthetic, open plan living spaces and loft style features’. The development offers accommodation ranging from studio flats to 4 bed apartments. Residential blocks’ layout and design is inspired by Manhattan. With grid-style facades giving room for wide windows and recessed terraces.
As well as the residential aspect of the island, the National Ballet are also relocating to the development. New rehearsal studios, made of glass to allow for passers by to catch a glimpse of dancers in action, spans 88,000 ft. 2. To create a focal point for those who live, work or are simply visiting the island.
Manhattan Loft Gardens, Newham
Another project inspired by one of the most famous examples of island living, Manhattan Loft Gardens in Stratford is part of a series of construction developments that have been termed ‘nothing short of a renaissance’.
The skyscraper, the brainchild of Harry Handelsman and designed by architects Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Peaks at 42 storey high, with 248 apartments and 146 hotel rooms available for long and short term stays alike. It’s got three garden squares, but they’re not at the foot of the tower. The reimagined spaces situated 95,280 and 400 ft up respectively, giving three different panoramic viewpoints of London’s iconic skyline.
Studio KO, the Parisian designers, was also the one who individually designed each apartment. The communal spaces include a triple-height lobby, a bar and a restaurant. Residents and guests can also enjoy spa, gym, and cinema trips without having to leave the building.
Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the skyscraper is the importance of cantilevers to the building’s structure. Cantilevers will held up the entire tower, which cater for the garden spaces, which essentially cut into the side of the building. Building is expected to be finished this year, and somebody has already snapped up the £10 million penthouse!
One Nine Elms, Wandswort
One Nine Elms is Europe’s largest regeneration project. It’s aiming to transform 3km of riverside land into ‘residential space, international business district and outstanding cultural and leisure destination’.
The two towers that spearhead the development will offer 436 apartments. The larger tower reaching a fraction under 200m into the London sky, with the smaller tower also called as River Tower, standing at 160m, offering 42 floors to City Tower’s 58. It’ll house a five-star hotel, the first luxury hotel that owners Dalian Wanda have created outside of China.
The towers are sure to be the focal point of the development. But the wider project includes the building of 16,000 new homes, not to mention the relocation of the U.S. Embassy in London from its home in Mayfair.
In 2019, the project will be completed as expected, in addition to the luxury living that the development will facilitate. Dalian Wanda also required to contribute £20m for an extension to the Northern Line and for the construction of affordable housing in a separate location.
The construction projects we’ve touched on in this place might be the biggest, the most expensive and the most striking. But they’re just a few of the many developments that are taking place across the capital. From skyscrapers to Crossrail, innovative construction projects are taking place across London all-year round.