In Photos: London's Most Beautiful High Rises

Harry Rosehill
By Harry Rosehill Last edited 32 months ago
In Photos: London's Most Beautiful High Rises

After the Blitz, high rise accommodation became common in London. Mass housing, delivered speedily was a priority. As London experiences a dearth of available housing, high rises are making a comeback. More than just places to call home, these buildings often have their own allure and beauty so we decided to honour that. Here are some of our favourites:

Trellick Tower

Photo: Richardr

Like many greats, Erno Goldfinger was heavily under appreciated during his heyday. His designs for high rises like Trellick Tower were derided at a time when Brutalism was sliding out of fashion. Today they've become iconic and Kensal Green's Trellick Tower holds the honour of being a Grade II listed building.

Balfron Tower

Photo: Compound Eye

Another Goldfinger effort, this came bang in the middle of the sixties high rise boom to tackle London's soaring population. Poplar's Balfron Tower acted as a prototype for the later-built Trellick Tower (above). We've always felt that Balfron sounded quite like Balrog, the menacing demon creature residing in the Mines of Moria in Lord of the Rings. Make of that what you will.

Sivill House

Photo: photosam

You'd be forgiven for mistaking Bethnal Green's Sivill House for a mathematical puzzle. It's so heavily decorated with square brackets and subtraction symbols, it looks like an answerless equation. It also looks like a very enjoyable place to live.

Brandon Estate

Photo: Gary Kinsman

There's something to be said for groups of matching high rises, clustered together. The simplistic columns and uniformity of it all emits a rather dystopian vibe — but the uniformity also makes them stand out from current eclectic tastes. They look like what a 1960s architect expected the future to look like, a relic from a misinformed prediction.

Strata SE1


Here's a newer entry among a list of more dated buildings. Strata is probably the most visible of the recent efforts, although don't be shocked if it's overshadowed by more in coming years. Winner of the 2010 Carbuncle Cup, it's best recognised by its rooftop wind turbines — although how effective they are is up for debate.

The Barbican

Photo: Richardr

The Barbican is notoriously divisive — you either love or you hate its triad of Brutalist towers. Many Londoners admire it, although perhaps it's just a case of being so used to its presence that we can't imagine the City skyline without it.  See more photos of The Barbican here.

Last Updated 21 October 2016