Tallest Buildings and Structures in London

With one of the most varied skylines in the world, London is blessed with an array of different architectural styles, from early 16th century stone churches through to modern day skyscrapers. As the development of the Shard nears completion, and London is poised to welcome the new tallest building in Europe, lets look back at the tallest buildings and structures in London.

London has a long history of developing mega structures, the earliest of these began with the original Tower of London, in 1098 it stood just over 27 metres tall, London also graced the first manmade structure over 100 metres, the old St Paul’s Cathedral, completed in 1310 was over 150 metres tall.

For the next few centuries, Church spires and Cathedrals largely battled for the top spots as the tallest buildings. London missed out on potential new skyscrapers as the London Building Act of 1894 prohibited new structures from obscuring the view of certain important historic buildings, new structures were limited to 14 storeys on many parts of London.

Eventually the height restrictions were removed in the early 1960s, this lead to the development of the first buildings above 20 storeys. Beginning in 1966 with the 117 metre tall Centre Point, then followed in 1980 by the first proper skyscraper according to international standards, the Natwest tower, at 183 metres tall.

The early nineties saw the development of Canary Wharf, One Canada Square, a 221 metre tall structure providing London with what remains one of the existing tallest buildings in Europe – it’s currently the 15th tallest building in Europe.

In more recent years, skyscrapers have continued to appear in the London skyline, below is a list of the current tallest buidlings in London.

Top 10 tallest buildings and structures in London

1. Shard London Bridge 310 metres 2012
2. One Canada Square 235 1991
3. Heron Tower 230 2011
4. Crystal Palace Transmitter 219 1950
5. 8 Canada Square 200 2002
6. 25 Canada Square 200 2002
7. Tower 42 183 1980
8. 30 St Mary Axe 180 2003
a. AKA The Gerkin
8. BT Tower 177 1962
9. Broadgate Tower 161 2008

Tall Buildings in London currently under construction (over 200 metres)

Bishopsgate Tower, 288 metres, currently expected for completion in 2014
Riverside South, 237 metres, currently expected for completion in 2016
The Leadenhall Building, 225 metres, currently expected for completion in 2014

The Shard is expected to remain as the tallest structure in London for some years to come, as of writing the tallest building in the list of proposed and approved buildings for London, Bishopsgate Tower, is 22 metres shorter.