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Skyscraper boom in London Not everyone approves it.

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Skyscrapers are shooting up all over London changing its skyline dominated by Big Ben and St Paul`s Cathedral. Some Londoners are delighted at their city's Manhattanisation' but others are worried over its losing its soul. London was a place of intricate streets a precious' urban pattern inherited from Georgian times said Kieran Long curator architecture at Victoria and Albert Museum. A study reveales that 237 skyscrapers are being built or are about to begin construction before end of 2015 across London. It's going to change London's face probably greater than at any time in its history except when St Paul's Cathedral was built said Peter Murray head of New London Architecture a planning think tank. Finished in 1710 St Paul's stands 111.3 meters (365 ft) tall a third of the Shard Europe's highest skyscraper. Now places like City of London and West End are in danger of losing' their character at the foot of WalkieTalkie' a tower that changed face of the British capital.

But all Londoners do not think alike. I like them I think they add character make London a bit more unusual said city worker Lucille Davis. Another called it amazing' looking at the skyscraper. Many buildings here are boring and dull and someone has actually designed them like it he added. London's skyscraper boom surprises city authorities too. London has no central urban planning office and decisions are taken borough by borough (sector by sector). Such construction was approved due to population growth in London around 100000 people add to its population yearly. This would push its population to nearly 10 million by 2030 and around 13m by 2050.While architects see some affordable housing in the new buildings the skyscrapers are really designed for wealthy people. It is a total reversal of the situation in 1960s and 1970s when ugly towers used to be built for the poor. In the new towers of glass apartments can cost tens of millions of pounds.

Billed as London`s most luxurious apartment block the 36 storey Heron' for example boasts a 6000 sq ft pent house which was sold this year for 18 million pounds ($30 m). London`s more original looking skyscrapers have earned affectionate local nicknames like WalkieTalkie' or curvaceous Gherkin'. Another new addition is called Cheesegrater' for its sloped profile specifically designed to protect citywide views of St Paul's cathedral. A frequent cause of criticism of hirises in planning terms is their thick base which completely changes the streets' character'. They make streets less hospitable as they kill' independent shops already very few in central London in favour of sandwich joints for office workers. Architects behind Cheesegrater' responded to these concerns by cutting back the structure to create a sunlit plaza below. But intellectuals describe many other towers as generic' eyesores. London's skyline is out of control they warned.

Many of these towers are of mediocre architectural quality and badly sited. Their generic designs threaten London's unique character and identity say many intellectuals.

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Publication:Pakistan Engineering Review
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 31, 2014
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