The London landscape has a variety buildings and structures that typically catch the immediate attention of any viewer or visitor to the international British city. Many of the modern locations have been built with specific purpose, existing as standing gems of the architects who designed them and carried the related vision to fruition. However, among this cement portfolio, three buildings stand out as extreme examples:
The most unique and obvious standout of iconic buildings now existing in London is incorporated in the Gherkin Building. Better known as the Egg Building because the shape looks like one, just stretched out, the Gherkin Building sits in downtown London with a unique structure shape that can be seen miles away. The skyscraper incorporates 40 functional floors, towering over London’s financial district and market offices. Completed in mid-2004, the Gherkin was visualized and detailed by Norman Foster and brought to construction by Arup engineering and Skanska construction. The Gherkin replaced the Baltic Exchange Building which was badly ruined by an Irish Republican Army bombing in 1992. A sale of the building in 2007 closed the value for purchase at approximately 630 million British pounds.
The Lloyds Building
The Lloyds Building looks like some nightmare from rocket launch site that got married to a construction rig. Originally conceptualized and drawn by architect Richard Rogers, the building was finalized in 1986 on Lime Street. A common theme for the entire building put all the infrastructure support systems on the outside of the building, leaving the inside offices completely unobstructed. This includes all the stairways, plumbing, and power channels. The Lloyds building stands at almost 90 metres with a total of 14 floors for offices and workspaces. Because of the industrial appearance of the structure it makes for a great movie location, having appeared in 18 different movie projects including Hackers and Mamma Mia.
The Container Building
An oddball shaped building that’s off the beaten path includes the Container Building. Made literally of multi-colored shipping containers welded together, the building boasts a five-story structure with multiple living units as well as accesses. Formally named Container City and Container City II, the building rests in the center of London’s Docklands. A primary goal of the structure’s builders was to show how materials could be recycled into re-use again. Container City incorporates almost 80% recycled materials, with the shipping containers as the most obvious aspect. Designed by architect Nicholas Lacey, Container City was constructed in pods and units, each connected until the final structure was realized. Upper floors are reached with an internal elevator and include 22 different apartments.
There are a number of others buildings with far more history in London, including St. Peter’s Cathedral as well as Buckingham Palace. However, in terms of those structures that stand out as iconic, the above three locations easily stick in people’s memories without any help. Of course, Hollywood has probably helped a bit as well, frequently casting both the Gherkin Building as well as the Lloyds Building in multiple movies.