Most Famous Architectural Designs in London

The city of London is renowned for its high-priced real estate, with the average residential home in the UK capital reaching £740,597 over the course of the last 12 months.

Commercial property rates may be even higher in some parts of the city, although this should come as no surprise given London’s premium cost of living and some of the stunning architecture that exists in the capital; it does offer unique business opportunities for builders working on construction projects to get building materials and obtain lucrative work.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most famous architectural designs in London, while asking why these examples are so highly thought of.

1. The Cheesegrater, Central London

The Cheesegrater, which is more officially referred to as the Leadenhall Building, is located in Central London and categorised as a soaring, 738-foot skyscraper.

Opened in July 2014 and designed by the Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partner, it features a slight, ascending slope on the front of the structure. This creates a distinct wedge shape with a grated aesthetic, causing it to resemble the kitchen utensil of the same name.

This building is home to office space in London’s financial district, and it’s commonly used by city workers such as IT consultants, bankers, and legal professionals.

Ultimately, it’s an incredibly cool and eye-catching structure that’s widely frequented by young professionals, while it remains one of London’s most interesting landmarks from a tourist’s perspective.

2. The Shard

In second we have the iconic Shard, which remains one of the most recognisable buildings in both London and the entire world.

This building opened on February 1st, 2013, while it’s located on London Bridge Street in the Southeast area of the capital. Incredibly, the Shard is a staggering 310 metres tall, making it the tallest building in Western Europe and one that continues to dominate London’s packed skyline year-on-year.

Featuring a unique design and built primarily from reinforced glass, the building is unique both from the perspective of its size and construction.

Incredibly, the entire façade contains around 11,000 individual glass panels in total, with this equating to 56,000 sq. metres and the equivalent of eight football pitches. One may worry about the health and safety and due diligence behind this much construction, but it’s unlikely that there were much, if any, injuries as a result of accidents as safety would be a priority.

3. The Gherkin, St. Mary Axe

The distinctive Gherkin building is located at 30 St. Mary Axe, in the busy and bustling St. Mary Axe area of London.

This is also located centrally and in the heart of London’s financial district, which in 2021 accounted for the vast majority of activity in the UK’s £173.6 billion-strong financial services sector.

Ultimately, this design is recognised as one of the more distinctive skyscrapers in London’s financial sector, while its shape is a little less conventional than the aforementioned Cheesegrater.

Designed by the famed architect Norman Foster of the Foster and Partners firm, it certainly stands out on the well-populated London skyline, while Foster himself has also helped to conceive famous structures like London City and the new Wembley Stadium.


Tags: London, St. Mary Axe, the cheesegrater, The Gherkin, The Shard

Author: Maja Markovski


A 35-year-old female architect with a passion for innovative, sustainable design. I blend creativity and functionality to transform spaces into beautiful, practical environments.


Recent posts in Architecture

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments