We all know London's distinctive skyline; even if you've never seen it yourself, it is instantly recognisable from movies, TV shows and great works of art. The mixture of so many different kinds of architecture has a certain kind of rugged beauty about it, one which property developers seem determined to make ever more eclectic and eccentric.
Prince Charles once likened the capital to an “absurdist picnic table", and with the increasing amount of buildings which can be said to resemble various foods, it seems to be becoming truer by the day. Here at Oaktree Interiors, we thought we'd take a break from discussing specific office design in London and, instead, take a look at the various buildings making up the skyline of the beautiful city.
The Gherkin, 2003
It is obvious that the trend for naming building's in the city after types of food was started by the world-famous Gherkin. Built in 2003, the Gherkin (real name 30 St. Mary Axe) was the point of ridicule for many Londoners, and even the nickname “Gherkin" was meant to be offensive.
Despite the mockery it received, the architects remained confident in the building, which was designed circular in order to allow the wind to flow around it all the easier. It was also designed to taper at the bottom to maximise the available space, whilst it was made smaller at the top to make it seems less domineering and oppressive.
Before Christmas, there was a laser light show which lit the Gherkin up like a Christmas tree. As soon as the public saw that, they quickly fell in love with the iconic shape, and many became extremely proud that their city was home to such a recognisable and unique design.
The Prawn, 2007
Although it is officially known as the Willis Building, this architectural icon's unique design was influence by overlapping curved shells. Because of this, it became widely known as the Prawn, although this has not been adopted by the architects, Foster & Partners, in the same way that the Gherkin has been.
In fact, the group were so offended by the term that a spokeswoman said “the name was not given by us, nor was our intention to design a building which resembles a prawn".
The Pringle, 2011
The Olympic Velodrome, built for the 2012 Olympics, features an extremely distinctive curved roof, which was designed to reduce the hot air inside the area and to collect rainwater. The shape of the roof, whilst entirely practical, reminded journalists of the famous snack and the nickname quickly stuck.
The Cheesegrater, 2014
London's tallest skyscraper, the Leadenhall Building, has obtained the nickname “the Cheesegrater", thanks to its distinctive shape. Peter Rees, ex-chief planner of the City of London, says that he came up with the name after joking with the architect, Richard Rogers, that he could imagine his restaurateur wife, Ruth, using it to grate parmesan on pasta
The Leadenhall Building has an extremely distinctive wedge shape, which was designed to protect existing views of St. Paul's Cathedral. It also features fins to cut out the sun's glare, making it a practical working area.
London is already such an eclectic mix of architectural styles that no business can afford to work within a blank slate of an office. Every single office design in London needs to be unique and intelligent in order to live up to the eccentric and stunning area within which it finds itself.
With more incredible buildings planned for the future, including the Cucumber, the Can of Ham and the Club Sandwich, there has never been a better time to make the most of intelligent office design in London to cement your business' identity.
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