Is this what London will look like? AI images predict the future

This is what London‘s skyline will look like by the end of the decade, according to computer-generated images.  

The new pictures incorporate major developments approved over the past year, which was especially strong for the city’s development.

The City of London Corporation, which released the images, says there was an increase of a quarter in planning applications received and decided in comparison to last year.

The AI snaps of the capital’s future skyline feature 11 skyscrapers either under construction, given consent for construction or with a resolution to grant permission for construction.

Most of these tall buildings will join those already in the ‘City Cluster’ area, located in the eastern corner of London’s Square Mile, which already houses many of the capital’s most iconic skyscrapers.

This area also plays host to an increasing population of city workers, whose ranks have swelled by 29,000 to around 617,000 since 2021.

This is what London 's skyline will look like by the end of the decade, according to computer-generated images

These are the new buildings that are due to become part of the Square Mile's landscape by the end of the decade

Plans for what new building, 55 Bishopsgate, will look like

This is what the view is predicted to look like from the 22 Bishopsgate skyscraper when it is complete

Due to this growing population of workers, which is forecasted to increase with an additional 85,000 jobs expected by 2040, the City Corporation is also negotiating proposals that would see more than 500,000 square meters of office space – equivalent to around 70 football pitches – added to the city, with the same amount already under construction.

The demand for high-quality, sustainable office space remains high, with a joint report from engineering consultant company Arup and estate agents Knight Frank suggesting a need for 1.2m sqm of extra office space in the city by 2040, to accommodate estimated job growth.

As a key area of change identified in the City of London’s City Plan 2040, the City Cluster will additionally benefit from new pedestrian routes and urban green space, more space for retail and food and drink outlets, as well as more educational, cultural and heritage space to celebrate the capital’s rich history.

The Square Mile has already benefitted from recent introductions of tall buildings including 8 Bishopsgate – a 50-storey building known as The Lookout – and 22 Bishopsgate – a 58-storey building known as 22 Horizon, which boasts the status of Europe’s tallest free viewing gallery.

Between them, these two new skyscrapers have already welcomed more than 70,000 people to their free public viewing galleries in the mere two months since opening.

Shravan Joshi, Chair of the Planning and Transportation Committee at the City of London Corporation, said the Square Mile’s real estate sector continued to thrive, despite external economic concerns.

‘These new CGI images clearly illustrate the ever-changing nature of London’s incredible skyline,’ Mr Joshi said.

‘It demonstrates that the City office is here to stay, and that the Square Mile’s real estate sector is robust and thriving, despite wider economic concerns.

‘Through our flagship ‘Destination City’ policy, we are creating a culturally vibrant, inclusive and welcoming City, enabled in part by these tall towers which help accommodate the hospitality, leisure, social and cultural destinations that are flocking to the City.

‘The City Corporation’s strong performance this year is underpinned by the Built Environment team’s efforts to de-risk many of the variables associated with real estate investment.

‘This includes providing clear policy directives, working closely with stakeholders and undertaking transparent consultation on schemes.’ 

This is what the development - 85 Gracechurch Street - is expected to look like when complete

This is a visualisation of what 55 Bishopsgate, London will look like when finished

This is a visualisation of the view from 6-8 Bishopsgate in the Square Mile

The new skyscrapers which will tower over central London 

2 Finsbury Avenue

Located at Broadgate, this area is the largest pedestrianised neighbourhood in Central London. The building is due to be offices, which have been designed with behavioural scientists from GXN, are predicted to have green areas and terraces, according to 3XN Architects.

8 Bishopsgate – ‘The Jenga’

Work on this skyscaper began in 2019 and finished this year, therefore this is one of the latest developments to have been built. Neighbours with the Cheesegrater, 8 Bishopsgate has also been given a nickname – the Jenga. 

This is due to the layout of the high rise, as it splits into three distinctive sections of varying heights. Like the Cheesgrater, the Jenga was also restricted planning-wise, as they were not allowed to block the view of St Paul’s Cathedral from Fleet Street. 

1 Leadenhall Street

This skyscraper is currently under construction as planning permission was accepted in 2017. The £400million high rise will have 36 floors when it is finished, which is expected to be in 2024. The newbuild – which will offices – will be built next to the iconic Leadenhall Market, which featured in the Harry Potter films.

1 Undershaft 

Planning applications for this 73-storey skyscraper were submitted in 2016 and it is due to be the highest building in the Square Mile cluster at 289.94m tall.

100 Leadenhall Street 

This high rise building is a new tower proposed for the Eastern Cluster in the City of London. It will have 57 floors and be 247 meters when it’s complete. Skidmore, Owings and Merrill say that it has been designed to preserve key historic views and will be one of the first skyscrapers in the UK to achieve net-zero carbon.

70 Gracechurch Street 

This building – for Tenacity Group – is set to ‘improve the public realm, provide adaptable workplaces with an emphasis on wellbeing, and create a public viewing gallery with winter garden,’ according to KPF, who are working on the project.

55 Gracechurch Street 

The City of London Corporation granted planning permission for the 30-storey office-led development in 2021, post-pandemic. ‘A free-to-access garden terrace, offering a suspended treetop walkway and panoramic views across London, will also be made available to the public. 

‘An innovative ceiling system will harvest rainwater to simulate rainfall to irrigate the plants,’ According to City of London Corporation. 

50 Fenchurch Street 

Another office-focused development, 50 Fenchurch Street was approved in 2020. It will provide over 62,000 sq metres of office space arranged around a central core. The site is owned by The Clothworkers’ Company and is due to be complete in 2028.

55 Bishopsgate 

This development is the due to be the third tallest tower in the Square Mile and planning permission was approved in July 2023. The high rise will have 63 floors and 22 storey mixed-use buildings, that will feature a free to visit public roof top, with a biodiverse climate resilient garden for relaxation, events and educational opportunities, according to the City of London Corporation. 

Demolition of the existing site are expected to take place in 2024 and the building is expected to be complete in 2029.

85 Gracechurch Street 

This skyscraper will be used as a mixed-use office tower. The 32-storey building will be all-electric, feature openable windows for natural ventilation and have 600 cycle spaces. There will be 27,000 sqm of new office space. Planning permission was approved in March 2023.

It will have a heritage garden on the fifth floor and free public exhibition celebrating the history of the site where once stood the Forum and Basilica.

40 Leadenhall Street – ‘Gotham City’

This skyscraper is set to have 900,000 sq ft of space, along with one fitness studio, a 30-seat HD cinema room, two public restaurants, five independent retailers and 1 library area – to name a few. 

Planning permission was approved back in 2014 and it accrued the nickname ‘Gotham City,’ after the fictional city in Batman. The building is due to be complete in 2023.



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