There’s an explosion in the number of tall buildings in London. You may not be so aware of them at ground level, but looking across to the City from the dome of St Pauls the other day - a climb of 528 steps - the change was very evident. And these buildings are just the start - more than 230 towers of over 20 storeys across the capital are in the pipeline. An exhibition at the New London Architecture centre (until 12.6.2014 at the Building Centre, Store St, London WC1E 7BTL) looks at their impact and the planning system.
When St Paul’s was built after the Great Fire of 1666 it was the tallest building in London. At the height of the Blitz in 1940, it still towered over the city and Herbert Mason’s iconic photo of the dome emerging from the surrounding fires and smoke became an image of survival. Ten sight lines to St Paul’s from around the capital enjoy legal protection. With such development afoot, how much longer can these last?