A new book looks at how London might have looked if various plans and schemes had come to fruition.
A giant pyramid in Trafalgar Square.
An immense cartwheel aerodrome above the streets of King's Cross.
A monorail through the heart of the West End, decades before the Simpsons ruined the idea with that song.
All of these schemes were once proposed for London, but never saw light of day. In his new book The London That Never Happened, Antony Badsey-Ellis draws together the various plans that might have seen the city transformed.
It's a book that covers several centuries. We read about an early 19th century effort to mark Newton's old house by topping it with a giant globe reminiscent of an apple. A few decades later it was suggested that the Crystal Palace should be dismantled and reconfigured into a gleaming glass tower (a precursor of The Shard, though probably not possible with Victorian technology).
We're brought right up to date with a look at the doomed Garden Bridge and the partly-built Pinnacle Tower.
And it's not just buildings. The book also reviews abandoned schemes for road networks and train lines. It even includes a plan to divert the Thames via Peckham — a truly mad scheme which Londonist uncovered from the archives a few years ago.
Many of the images in the book will be familiar to those with an architectural interest — they often do the rounds on social media. But Badsey-Ellis has also woven in an impressive number of illustrations we hadn't previously seen before.
By his own admission, the author hasn't attempted to be comprehensive (which would be impossible), but has chosen a selection of failed schemes most likely to boggle. We're pleased to see he included, for example, the notorious "Green Bird", a dildo-shaped skyscraper once touted for the Battersea Power Station site.
The result is a punchy, eclectic volume that will offer many surprises, even to those with a good grasp of London's non-existent buildings.
The London That Never Happened by Antony Badsey-Ellis, published by Capital History, ISBN 978 185414 469 0. Buy direct from the publisher or via your local bookshop.