Concrete creations: What are the must-see modern architecture examples in London?

London’s modern architecture is an invitation to engage, to immerse yourself in a world where innovation dances with history. This is a city that doesn’t just build for necessity. It builds to inspire, challenge, and spark dialogue.

Don’t believe us? Join us as we embark on a whirlwind tour of London’s most mesmerising modern marvels. Time to let the adventure unfold, one awe-inspiring structure at a time!

The Shard

Media from theshardlondon

Location: 32 London Bridge St, London SE1 9SG, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3102 3700

Website

Designed by the brilliant architectural mind of Renzo Piano, The Shard stands as a shimmering testament to modern engineering prowess. Piano, an Italian architect with a penchant for pushing boundaries, envisioned this sleek and soaring structure to redefine London’s skyline. 

With its 95 floors, the Shard stands tall and proud at a staggering height of 1,016 feet. Now that’s what I call a head-turner! Plus, The Shard’s distinctive glass façade – a mosaic of reflective panels – dances with the sunlight and casts an ever-changing play of colours and patterns on the surrounding landscape.

The Gherkin

Media from thelondongherkin

Location: 30 St Mary Axe, London EC3A 8EP, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3008 6000

Website

The Gherkin’s real name is 30 St Mary Axe, but let’s be real, “The Gherkin” just sounds way better. It’s the brainchild of the legendary architectural duo of Norman Foster and Ken Shuttleworth, and let me tell you, their creativity game was on point when they designed this. 

This iconic tower rises to a height of 590 feet, and it’s not just its unconventional shape that makes it a head-turner – it’s the mind-blowing features that make it a must-see on your London adventure.

For example, the curvaceous exterior isn’t just for show. The curved glass panels not only give it that distinctive look but also provide excellent natural light diffusion!

Tate Modern

Media from josem.photos

Location: Bankside, London SE1 9TG, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7887 8888

Website

The Tate Modern, that eye-catching fortress of culture, is the brainchild of the Swiss architectural wizards Herzog & de Meuron. These masterminds gave the former Bankside Power Station a jaw-dropping makeover, turning it into a 21st-century art haven that looks like it stepped right out of a sci-fi flick.

Oh, and did I mention the massive turbine hall that greets you as you step inside? It’s a soaring cathedral of art, a space so grand it could give even the most seasoned museum-goer a moment of serious awe.

British Museum’s Great Court

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Location: Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7323 8299

Website

The British Museum decided to give itself a little modern makeover back in 2000. Who was the creative genius behind this transformation, you ask? None other than the architectural maestro Norman Foster and his team at Foster + Partners. 

Now, here’s the kicker – the Great Court is like a colossal glass roof that seems to float effortlessly over the museum’s ancient heart. The glass roof is supported by a web of steel, almost like an intricate spider’s web, casting delicate shadows and filling the space with a sense of light and airiness.

Millennium Bridge

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Location: Thames Embankment, London EC4V 3QH, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7606 3030

Website

The Millennium Bridge is a jaw-dropping work of art suspended over the water like a delicate thread. When it first opened in 2000 (after a few wobbles that earned it the cheeky nickname “The Wobbly Bridge”), it was London’s first new Thames crossing in over a century. 

What’s great about this is that it’s a pedestrian-only bridge, which means you get to experience London’s iconic skyline from a whole new angle – all while rubbing shoulders with fellow explorers on foot. 

London City Hall

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Location: The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2AA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7983 4100

Website

London City Hall is a curvy glass wonder standing proudly by the River Thames, was dreamt up by none other than the architectural wizards at Foster + Partners. It’s a sleek, egg-shaped structure that’s all about openness and transparency. 

And here’s a little nugget of knowledge – London City Hall isn’t just a pretty face. It’s a sustainability superstar, with its unique shape and energy-efficient features earning it major eco-friendly points.

The Walkie-Talkie

Media from london_metropolis

Location: 20 Fenchurch St, London EC3M 8AF, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7337 2344

Website

The Walkie-Talkie, also known as 20 Fenchurch Street, was conjured into existence by the brilliant minds at Rafael Viñoly Architects. Yep, we’re talking about a team that knows how to turn steel and glass into a jaw-dropping work of art.

Oh, and that curved glass exterior? It’s like a funhouse mirror that reflects the city back at you, creating a kaleidoscope of urban energy.

Plus, the building’s unique shape has earned it the nickname “The Fryscraper”, thanks to an incident where the sun’s reflection melted a car parked nearby. Talk about architectural drama!

The Leadenhall Building

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Location: 122 Leadenhall Street, 122 Leadenhall St, London EC3V 4AB, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7220 8950

Website

The Leadenhall Building, affectionately known as “The Cheesegrater” due to its distinct wedge-like shape, was brought to life by the creative genius of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. 

It’s a building that leans back like it’s about to strike a pose. Plus, the Leadenhall Building’s unique shape isn’t just a stylistic choice, it’s a practical one too, allowing for more open space at street level and giving Londoners a breath of fresh air amidst the concrete jungle.

Bloomberg European Headquarters

Media from visualhouse.co

Location:  3 Queen Victoria St, London EC4N 4TQ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7330 7500

Website

The Bloomberg European Headquarters is a marvel that stands as a testament to cutting-edge design. Like many others on this list, it was conjured into existence by the brilliant minds at Foster + Partners. 

It’s like a shimmering work of art that caught a ride from the future and landed right in the heart of London. And these fins aren’t just for show – they’re an ingenious sunshade system that adjusts in response to the sun’s position, ensuring the perfect balance of light and shade.

But wait, there’s more! The interior is just as mind-blowing as the exterior. The central atrium is a jaw-dropper, with its spiralling ramps and open spaces that invite you to explore and discover.

Battersea Power Station

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Location: 188 Kirtling St, London SW8 5BN, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7501 0688

Website

The Battersea Power Station is a grand dame of industrial beauty that was originally designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott – the same creative genius behind the iconic red telephone box.

But here’s the plot twist: the modern makeover we’re fawning over today is a result of a dynamic collaboration between WilkinsonEyre, Foster + Partners, and Gehry Partners. It’s like a superstar architectural team gathered to give this London legend a contemporary facelift.

King’s Cross Station – Western Concourse

Media from architecture_london

Location: Euston Rd, London N1 9AL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 345 748 4950

Website

The King’s Cross Station – Western Concourse is a blend of steel, glass, and sheer architectural brilliance under the skilful hands of John McAslan + Partners. These maestros took a historic landmark and gave it a futuristic twist that’s impossible to ignore.

But hold onto your travel bags, because it’s not just about the exterior. Inside, you’ll feel like you’ve walked into an art installation from the future. Natural light floods the space, making every step a journey through architectural brilliance. 

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion

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Location:  London W2 3XA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7402 6075

Website

The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion owes its existence to a roster of architectural luminaries. We’re talking about the likes of Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, and Herzog & de Meuron – a creative dream team.

It’s a space that’s not just a building, but an experience. Every year, a new architect takes the reins and transforms the pavilion into a unique creation. It’s like a design chameleon that adapts to its surroundings while making a bold statement all its own.

The Crystal

Media from doubletreelondonexcel

Location: Royal Victoria Docks, 1 Siemens Brothers Way, London E16 1GB, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7055 6400

Website

Designed by the illustrious architectural firm WilkinsonEyre, The Crystal is a dazzling showcase of sustainability and innovation, a veritable cathedral of glass and steel that beckons to those who appreciate the marriage of aesthetics and environmental consciousness.

This futuristic gem is not only designed to be energy-efficient but to generate energy as well. Yeah, you read that right! Solar panels, ground source heat pumps, and a rainwater harvesting system work in harmony to minimise its environmental footprint. 

London Aquatics Centre

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Location: London E20 2AQ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8536 3150

Website

Designed by the acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid, this aquatic wonderland made its stunning debut during the 2012 Olympics, stealing the limelight with its fluid lines and undulating curves. 

What’s in the Splash Zone? The London Aquatics Centre boasts two shimmering pools, perfect for both serious laps and leisurely dips. 

The main attraction, the 50-meter competition pool, is a pristine expanse where aquatic athletes have forged Olympic history. Adjacent to this, the 25-meter diving pool is a spectacle in itself, inviting daring divers to take the plunge from staggering heights.

Lee Valley Velodrome

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Location: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Abercrombie Road Lee Valley VeloPark, London E20 3AB, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 300 003 0613

Website

If you’re looking for a blend of cutting-edge design and sporting adrenaline, the Lee Valley Velodrome is your ticket to architectural euphoria. 

Designed by the innovative Hopkins Architects, this velodrome isn’t just a place to pedal. It’s a jaw-dropping masterpiece that’ll leave you spinning with amazement.

This velodrome is also a hub of sporting excellence. Home to track cycling events during the 2012 Olympics, it’s a place where world records are set and champions are born. 

Laban Dance Centre

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Location: London SE8 3FB, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8305 4444

Website

Laban Dance Centre’s unique façade is a mashup of translucent panels and undulating curves, like a building that’s caught mid-salsa. It’s a breathtaking blend of glass, steel, and artistic audacity that proves architecture can be a dance form of its own.

And with state-of-the-art studios that have seen the likes of ballet, contemporary, and even experimental dance, this is a place where movement takes centre stage.

Crossrail Place Roof Garden

Media from monsieur_monty

Location: Crossrail Pl, London E14 5AB, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7418 2000

Website

This garden is no ordinary patch of grass. It’s a multi-level haven where exotic plants, flowers, and even aquatic wonders coexist in harmony. 

From vibrant blooms to meandering walkways, every step you take is a brushstroke of nature’s beauty. Oh, and did I mention the amphitheatre? It’s like Mother Nature herself decided to put on a show.

The Design Museum

Media from designmuseum

Location: 224-238 Kensington High St, London W8 6AG, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3862 5900

Website

Crafted by the renowned architect John Pawson, this museum is a masterpiece in itself. Pawson’s design philosophy in restoring the iconic facade is sure to please modernist architecture fans.

Now, don’t let the exterior steal the show – the interior is a design mecca too! Three floors of creative exploration, featuring everything from fashion and graphics to product and industrial design. 

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