Love them or hate them, it appears that despite a significant slowdown in skyscraper construction in the spring and summer of 2020, there was no feared slowdown due to the pandemic.
According to New London Architecture’s annual review of skyscrapers over 20 stories or higher, there are 587 tall buildings under construction in London – with 310 building permits and 127 under consideration. A total of 35 towers were completed last year.
The 42-story “cucumber” tower in Paddington’s Merchant Square was completed last year. It has 436 apartments and is now the tallest building in West London.
But Nine Elms saw the completion of an even taller skyscraper – the 53-story One Thames City.
And East London has the most tall buildings in the pipeline – mostly in Tower Hamlets, Newham and Greenwich.
The report says more skyscrapers are likely to transform the skyline on the outskirts of London – and most of them are residential buildings rather than office buildings.
There were 10.8% more planning permissions granted in 2020 than in 2019 – the third year in a row that permissions for tall buildings have increased.
New London Architecture said this could suggest “an increasing willingness of planning committees to approve high-rise building proposals, either as stand-alone projects or as part of a larger master plan.”
However, last year the number of scheduling requests fell 27% from 2019, which means a drop from 107 to 78. Requests submitted remain around 36% below the market peak in 2018.
In 2020, work began on just 24 high-rise buildings, up from 44 the previous year. This was the lowest number of new high-rise building starts in London since 2013.
All work was completed on 35 high-rise residential and commercial buildings in 2020, including nine on the outskirts of London.
And New London Architecture predicts that 2021 could be a bumper year for completions, with 52 tall buildings due to be completed this year.
Although footfall in the City of London is well below normal, Peter Murray of New London Architecture said: “The outlook for new office buildings in the City of London is remarkably positive at the moment despite the likely increase. home work.
“This optimism is supported by a long-term supply shortage as well as a ‘flight to quality’ from occupants who wish to encourage staff to return to work in the office.”
Mr Murray added that as the dust settled after the pandemic, there was uncertainty about the future of office demand.
“Only time will tell what the reduction in the demand for space will be due to the evolution of post-Covid work models, but anyone who builds a large building is quite resilient and is here for the long haul.”
Due to the complexity of design, planning and construction, the delivery process spans economic cycles with an average of eight years between planning and completion.
“However, there remains uncertainty about the City’s position as a global business center due to Brexit and the rebalancing of the UK economy,” Murray said.
Towers completed in the city last year include the 74-story Undershaft, the 51-story 8 Bishopsgate and the 62-story block at 22 Bishopsgate, which features the tallest indoor climbing wall in the UK.
Gwyn Richards, who heads the planning department at the City of London Corporation, said his department was busy managing high-rise building applications.
He said the future of towers includes: “Natural ventilation, lower rooftop gardens and occupancy densities, more workspaces, more generous ceiling heights, more daylight, etc. It is a more human, gentler approach that contributes to the well-being of the staff. ”
He said: “This may well lead to increased demand for tall buildings, because if you put fewer people in a tall building, you might need more buildings. So this is the dynamic that we are starting to see. ”
And despite the pandemic, he said the city’s planning department has never been so busy.
“We have four under construction, four in committee in the next few months and probably around seven in preparation. There was no respite.
This includes a 30-story green tower at Gracechurch Street approved in February.
A 50-story office building near the Bevis Marks Synagogue is also due to appear before the city’s planning committee this year.
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This notice was published: 2021-04-19 12:31:26