What's Happening With London's New Skyscrapers?

By M@ Last edited 27 months ago

Last Updated 22 February 2022

What's Happening With London's New Skyscrapers?
Once the tallest building in the UK, Tower 42 is reflected in the much loftier 22 Bishopsgate. Meanwhile, 8 Bishopsgate is under construction.

Despite the pandemic and the trend for home-working, the city's skyline shows no signs of slowing down.

Finding it hard to keep track of London's ever-changing skyline? In this article, which we'll regularly update, we round up the tallest buildings currently under construction in the capital. Love them or loathe them, it's at least worth knowing what's coming up next.

Last updated February 2022.

Consort Place

Residential towers near Canary Wharf, by Pilbrow and Partners, under construction, 216m and 121m

A city skyline (Canary Wharf) with a central tall tower glinting in the sun

A development of two high-rise towers, one of which is currently the tallest building in London under construction at 216m (the central, gleaming tower in the image above). The shorter building is nearing full height, while the taller tower is progressing slowly.

8 Bishopsgate

Office complex in the City of London, by WilkinsonEyre, under construction, 204 metres.

A render of a new skyscraper which looks like a stack of blocks

This peculiar development on the corner of Leadenhall Street snuggles up against the taller 22 Bishopsgate, effectively creating the tallest alleyway in London. The building will include a public viewing gallery at the top.

A photo showing 8 Bishopsgate next to 22 Bishopsgate at sunset, with London's tallest alley labelled inbetween

At time of writing, it is well under construction, and should complete in 2023.

One Nine Elms

Residential towers with hotel in Nine Elms, by Kohn Pedersen Fox, under construction, 199m and 160m.

A pair of skyscrapers beside the Thames

This one's going up on the site of the old Market Towers, the brown-and-cream behemoth that dominated the area from the mid-70s until its demolition in 2014. The scheme sees two similar blocks reaching almost 200 metres into the Vauxhall skies. The loftier tower will become the tallest building in this part of town. Construction is well advanced, but the scheme recently stalled amid a payment dispute.

Portal West

Residential tower in North Acton, by BUJ Architects, under construction, 184 metres.

Close up of a tower with funky angled balconies

A whopper of a building for west London, the towers of Portal West near Acton Main Line currently stick out like a sore thumb. That should change as the area around Old Oak Common is redeveloped with further towers, in advance of the arrival of HS2.

One Thames City

Residential-led development of three towers near Nine Elms, by SOM, under construction, 177 metres.

Originally planned as a trio of "iconic" towers, only two of the residential blocks have seen significant progress, though these are shaping out nicely... if you find this kind of thing nice. As you can see from the render, the base of the towers includes a large area of landscaping, with plenty of provision for cafes, bars and shops.

40 Leadenhall Street (Gotham City)

Office complex in the City of London, by Make Architects, under construction, 154 metres.

A chunky office block under a blue sky.

At 154 metres, 40 Leadenhall Street is not among the loftiest towers of the City. Still, its bulky profile will make its presence felt, not least by blocking out one of only two remaining Thames-side views of the Gherkin. The large footprint and multiple blocks earned this building the nickname of Gotham City, after the hyper-dense towers of Batman's home.

A yellow-topped lift core with a red attendant crane is reflected in a puddle beneath blue skies.
Gotham's main core, reflected in a puddle.

At the time of writing, the building is well under construction, with the main core topped out and much of the floor plating in place. It is due for completion in December 2023.

Looking ahead

Above, we've listed out projects currently under visible construction. Many other tall towers are awaiting their turn or are currently undergoing site preparation. Here are just a selection...

Bankside Yards

Among the most prominent will be the Bankside Yards development next to Blackfriars Bridge, which will see multiple towers including a 163 metre building.

Another tall addition to the Square Mile is the 183 metre 1 Leadenhall Street, which is currently undergoing basement work. It will add further density to the cluster that already includes 22 and 8 Bishopsgate and the Leadenhall Building (Cheesegrater).

The Wood Wharf development alongside Canary Wharf has seen a swathe of new tall buildings in recent years, with more to come in the near future.

1 Undershaft

Two further giants for the Square Mile, 1 Undershaft (290 metres) and 100 Leadenhall (263 metres) are further down the pipeline but have full planning permission. It remains to be seen if their developers will get the heebie jeebies in the wake of the pandemic, and a shift in office-working patterns. Meanwhile, the divisive Tulip project appears to have been killed off by secretary of state Michael Gove, who refused permission for the observation tower.