The Skyscraper Scrap

The Skyscraper Scrap – London has had some grand plans laid out for it architecturally, notably the development of quite a few skyscrapers. These grandiose projects are however being denounced as delusional, due to the lack of funding being provided by sponsors.

A letting crisis

The Shard, London’s most notable new skyscraper, towering some 310 metres above London Bridge Station lies mostly vacant. It is however the partially constructed Pinnacle, the most recent example of such exploits, which has been paused. . The patrons of the Pinnacle and other projects have stopped investing due to the improbability of being able to rent out office space – if there are no tenants, there is no project. On the plus side, you won’t have to take out landlord insurance.

The Pinnacle

The Pinnacle has stood half built for about a year and is only expected to resume its construction in 2013. It was supposed to be the second tallest building in the UK at a height of 288 metres , but in its place is a tall concrete pillar. Jerry Swain of UCAAT has said that “its like the hokey cokey for workers – they are in they are out, they’re in they’re out,” going on to describe the project as “farcical”. Even one of the head architects, Lee Polsiano, believes that there will be a different structure in the Pinnacle’s place when it’s finished.

Other Casualties

This is not the only example of stagnation in the city. At least six other projects have been cancelled or paused including the ‘Can-of-Ham’ on St Mary’s Axe, 100 Bishopsgate, Principle Place, One Trinity and Wall Place. The One Trinity office complex has been terminated all together, to be replaced with a hotel. It is likely that we won’t see any more impressive edifices until the financial situation improves considerably. Whilst many remain sceptical as to the city’s future as well as Britain’s position in the world in general given the rise of superpowers such as China, Brazil and India, some remain optimistic. Peter Murray, chairman of LCBE (an architectural forum) was confident that Britain would recover and the increased office space would be greatly valued in the years to come.

It you were to look at an example of the effects of 2008’s Credit Crunch, look no further than these extravagant architectural exploits planned before the crisis and their subsequent lack of funding and tenancy.

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