London skyline: the skyscrapers set to complete in the capital in 2019


Huge office towers are no longer unusual in London, with the city’s skyline almost unrecognisable compared even to 10 years ago. 

But high rise residential building in the capital has tended to be more closely associated with social housing than with aspirational luxury apartments — until now.

This year we’re set to see building completed on several landmark residential skyscrapers.

Tower Hamlets gave planning permission for the first of many residential towers on the Canary Wharf estate five years ago, with those decisions finally turning into homes to buy, albeit at a price.

Read on to find out where in London these towering, sometimes controversial but always impactful, projects are finally finishing, after years of design, construction and engineering work.

Twentytwo​, City of London 

The tower nearing completion at 22 Bishopsgate in the City of London has had a chequered history.

Originally designed to be 307m tall, this was reduced to 288m following objections from the Civil Aviation Authority – the government was worried that it was so tall, planes might crash into it.

Construction on the site originally began in 2008, as a 288m tower called The Pinnacle, which would have been the second-tallest building in the EU.

Work was suspended in 2012 during the recession, with only the core of the first seven storeys built.

A revised, money-saving design by PLP Architecture and a new name was agreed, the height was reduced to 278m and work started again in 2015.

Newfoundland, Isle of Dogs

Also known as Newfoundland Quay and the Diamond Tower, this 220 metre-tall residential building is on the Isle of Dogs.

Developed by the Canary Wharf Group, it was the first residential building granted planning permission by Tower Hamlets council on the Canary Wharf Estate, back in 2014.

Newfoundland (the tallest building on the right) uses the same diagrid framework seen on the Gherkin.

It will have 636 apartments across 60 floors.

It was designed by architects Horden Cherry Lee and uses a diagrid – a framework of diagonally intersecting metal that needs less structural steel than a conventional steel frame.

One Park Drive, Isle of Dogs

Another Isle of Dogs residential development from Canary Wharf Group, One Park Drive is built in an area of E14 formerly known as Wood Wharf.

Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, it’s the Swiss firm’s first residential tower in London.

The cylindrical building is 205m tall and will feature 468 apartments across 58 floors.

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One Park Drive is 205m tall and features 468 apartments

Construction began in 2016. The higher floors have double-height terraces and provide incredible views across the capital.

Wardian East and West Towers, Isle of Dogs

The two towers of Wardian East (187m) and West (168m) are also on the Isle of Dogs.

Originally granted planning permission as an office development, construction got as far as the basement before building was halted due to a lack of tenancy agreements.

Developer EcoWorld Ballymore re-applied for planning permission to switch the buildings — one 55 storeys high, the other 50 storeys — to residential use. 

The 12 penthouses will each feature private sky gardens with plants tended by an on-site gardener. 

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Principal Tower was designed by Foster + Partners

Principal Tower, Shoreditch

Located at the City end of Shoreditch High Street, Principal Tower is 161m tall.

Proposed in 2011, construction on the 50-storey tower started in 2014.

The block was designed by Foster + Partners with 301 apartments in the building.

It’s part of the Principal Place development with neighbours set to include Amazon, who have their UK headquarters in the building.

One Blackfriars, Southwark

This 50-storey, 170m tower is on a Thameside site near Tate Modern that had been vacant for more than a decade.

Known as the Vase, although also dubbed “The Tummy” by economist Robert Shiller, it was designed by SimpsonHaugh & Partners Architects and will feature 5,476 glass panels.

Construction began in 2013 for 274 homes, a 161-bedroom hotel, shops and a 641sq m public piazza.

A suite on the 43rd floor has been priced at £23 million. 

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