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Architravel | Online architectur quide
Architeam Projects

clip LONDON

Total Projects in the city of london: 116

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The contrast and the interaction between historic buildings and new architecture are the most important aspects characterising the City of London. Architects react with different strategies to the City’s complex urban context: the High-Tech-Architecture of Nicolas Grimshaw and Norman Foster that incorporates the remains of the Roman London Wall; the Corbusian urban planning ideas manifested in the Barbican Centre in an impressive way; Richard Rogers’ design for Lloyds, with its subtle, multi-layered composition that adds a contemporary and “technical” ornament to the City; and, in complete contrast, the neo-historical design of Paternoster Square which tries to re-create an appropriate setting for the adjacent and highly sensitive St. Paul´s Cathedral.

Thames river

Several epochs have left their mark on the varied architecture along the River; here, the pretension of power of the British Empire manifests itself in buildings such as the Palace of Westminster and Somerset House. But also 21st Century cultural life takes place on the Thames, in the sublime post-war architecture of the Royal Festival Hall, the brutalist statement that is the National Theatre, and in the ‘cathedral’ of industrial heritage, the Tate Modern.


After years of ad hoc private sector and National Lottery-funded developments, the Mayor of London and Lambeth Council have demonstrated a reawakened interest and involvement in London´s riverside urban planning, with a new City Hall and large scale urban plaza. The recent pedestrian links via the Millennium and Hungerford Bridges, and the London Eye, are further testimonies of an underused city space being successfully rediscovered.

Docklands and Greenwich

The highly accessible location between the City and London City Airport is especially attractive for businesses and residents here. The first office high-rises at Canary Wharf were designed in the 1980’s, mainly by renowned American architects - a fact that is clearly reflected in the architecture. In contrast, some of the new residential buildings on the river frontage search for architectural analogies in the old docks’ typologies. Recent proposals, such as Richard Rogers’ design for Riverside South, will add another architecture layer and lead to further densification.

The multi-purpose venue, the Millennium Dome (now called the O2), on the south side of the river was also designed by Richard Rogers. The huge, tent-like dome provides space for major concerts and events, and will be a venue for the Olympic Games in 2012. At the same time, it has been a catalyst and driver for the regeneration and ongoing development of the Greenwich Peninsula, alongside new transport infrastructure which includes the new tube stations connecting Canary Wharf and Greenwich across the River Thames.

Further east, close to Victoria Docks and City Airport, the huge submerged gates of the Thames Barrier can be raised in case of high tides threatening the City of London. Beside the Barrier, a stylised modern park provides quiet green space for the surrounding new apartment blocks.

Hoxton and Shoreditch

Outside the financial core of the capital. They combine to create a vibrant and diverse mixed use area; a key location for the creative industries, for small businesses serving the City’s financial institutions, for fashion and the arts, and for night-time uses. Spitalfields has undergone the most change, lying adjacent to the City’s boundaries; here, new offices and retail link with the fine grain urban character of adjacent early 18th Century streets, and their inventively re-used historic buildings. Shoreditch’s 19th Century former furniture warehouses are sympathetically converted for small businesses.

Here, and in Hoxton, new homes are being built on top of existing commercial buildings, while others with roof top additions provide gallery and studio space. ‘One-off’ private homes designed by new architectural talent also occupy formerly long vacant infill sites, sometimes alongside radically designed mixed use buildings executed by young practices but more often, next to a building unaltered for decades. In Hoxton too, and putting gentrification issues aside, the longstanding, ethnically diverse residents still live for the most part in recently renovated, historically significant social housing.

Spitalfields, Shoreditch and Hoxton continue to experience radical change, with regeneration projects bringing overwhelming benefits and new and extended buildings showcasing new architecture that is sometimes experimental but always sensitive to its location and local circumstances. The City Fringe is refreshing and exciting, largely because it successfully synthesises old and new, while maintaining townscape quality.


The above text is taken from www.archex.info

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