Hong Kong, Dubai and New York are iconic for the skyscrapers that dominate their skylines, but in the UK there is a distinct lack of towers and high-rises, even in major cities.
Ever wondered what the world’s tallest building would look like in your city?
We’ve taken some of the most impressive buildings from across the globe and imagined how they’d sit in some of the UK’s biggest cities.
London, featuring the Burj Khalifa
You could see the Burj Khalifa from Oxford (60 miles away) and the Shard from Reading (40 miles away).
|The Shard||Burj Khalifa|
|Height: 309.6 metres||Height: 829.8 metres|
|Tallest building in the EU||Tallest building in the world|
|Construction began in 2009 and ended in 2012||Construction began in 2004 and was finished by 2009|
Manchester, featuring the One World Trade Centre
You can see the One World Trade Centre from 50 miles away, while the Beetham Tower is visible from the ten counties that surround Manchester.
|The Beetham Tower||One World Trade Centre|
|Height: 169 metres||Height: 541 metres|
|Tallest building outside London in the UK||Tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere|
|Construction took two years to complete||Construction took eight years to complete|
Glasgow, featuring the Shanghai Tower
You would be able to see the Shanghai tower from Edinburgh (55 miles) if it was in Glasgow.
|The Glasgow Tower||The Shanghai Tower|
|Height: 127 metres||Height: 632 metres|
|Tallest tower in Scotland||Second tallest building in the world|
|Cost £10 million to construct||Construction began in 2008 and ended in 2015|
Liverpool, featuring the Taipei 101 building
You can already see the West Tower from Blackpool on a clear day, but you would be able to see the Taipei building from Leeds (50 miles) if it was in Liverpool.
|West Tower||Taipei 101|
|Height: 140 metres||Height: 509.2 metres|
|Third tallest building in UK outside London||Tallest ‘green’ building in the world|
|Construction took two years||Construction took five years|
The reality of skyscrapers in the UK
Construction in the UK has come a long way since Old St. Paul’s Cathedral became the first structure to exceed 100 metres in height, but the small number of skyscrapers we have indicates a reluctance for British developers to look up.
Over the next five years, population growth indicates that more than 210,000 new homes will be needed to offer a solution to the current housing shortage affecting London and the UK at large.
Plans at the moment will only provide 7% of the necessary housing, so more needs to be done to provide living spaces. Skyscrapers could resolve these issues because one tall tower provides between 300 and 600 residential units and, in areas like London where space is already in short supply, they’re the sensible, efficient solution.
Over the next decade, 263 new skyscrapers will be constructed in London that have more than 20 storeys. Projects such as ‘The Stratosphere’ in Stratford, One The Elephant near Elephant and Castle and the Pinnacle mega-structure taking London’s skylines to new heights over the next few years.
The reason skyscrapers don’t already dominate in the capital is because people are concerned about losing the charm and history of London and other British cities. However, cities like Paris have already seen success by building high-rises on the outskirts of the metropolitan area to provide housing and offices while maintaining the integrity of Paris’ culture.
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