Innovative Building Designs In and Around London

London is home to some of the most innovative and cutting-edge architecture in the world. From older structures to modern pieces, London’s many iconic buildings dominate the beautiful skyline of the metropolis and give you plenty to look at if you’re interested in design.

The wide variety of architecture in London represent pieces of the city’s history – as well as the present. Check out our 7 picks for buildings that are innovative in design, and how they impact the London experience.

The Gherkin

A modern feat of architecture, The Gherkin is one of London’s most easily recognisable buildings. Situated at 30 St Mary Axe in London’s financial district, this tower was erected in 2004. The building has received several prizes for extraordinary contemporary architecture, and this instantly iconic skyscraper is visible from most parts of London.

Photo: The Gherkin

Peckham Library

This creative structure is a fun and interesting community space in the modern and gritty area of south-east London. The award-winning library building has an unusual, futuristic design, and was quickly established as a London landmark.

St Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral has remained a major part of London’s identity since it was built in 1673. The legendary design created by Sir Christopher Wren lends itself to the building being a focal point of London – it was the city’s tallest building for 200 years and survived the bombings of World War II without major damage in part because it was a helpful navigational aid for German bombers.

Photo: St Paul’s Cathedral

The Shard

This 95-storey skyscraper has been a major landmark of London since it was completed in 2012. Designed by Renzo Piano, the tall tower was designed to look like a shard of glass and overlooks the Thames. Offering incredible panoramic views, The Shard remains the tallest building in the UK as well as the 4th tallest building in Europe. This innovative building functions as an observation deck for breath-taking views of London, and also plays home to restaurants, bars and offices.

Photo: The Shard London

Sun Rain Rooms

This exciting, award-winning space is home to an architects studio but is also open for visitors. It is a 2017 restoration and extension of a Grade II listed Georgian townhouse, allowing the weather to come straight into the building. When it rains, the water is collected and filtered down to a pool in a sort of rain dance. This innovative use of space and design allows people to connect with the weather and the world around them in a truly unique way.

Photo: Sun Rain Rooms London

Houses of Parliament

A major landmark of the metropolis, these historic buildings attracts plenty of attention from tourists. Dating back to the 11th century, The Houses of Parliament dominates the London landscape.

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