London is a fantastic city to live in and do business in, but there is a problem. In many parts of the city, the demand for commercial premises is outstripping availability. Demand for office space in Belgravia, The City of London, and other central locations is strong, and growing. London is already home to 4.9 million privately run businesses as well as numerous public bodies, and more want to base themselves in the city.

To meet that growing demand London is undergoing something of a transformation. Over the past few years, several iconic office skyscrapers have been built, and more are on the drawing board. Here we take a quick look at some of the ones that have already opened as well as some that are under construction or awaiting planning permission.

The Gherkin

The Gherkin is located at 30 St Mary Axe. It was finished in 2003 and opened for business in April 2004.

It is 180 meters high, and has 41 floors. The building was built to replace The Baltic Exchange, which was damaged in the IRA Bombing of 1992.

The Gherkin London Skyscraper1

Waterloo Bridge – South Viewing Plaque
The Pinnacle, as seen from Waterloo Bridge, forms the apex of the emerging cluster of tall buildings in the City of London

The Cheese Grater

The Cheese Grater is located at 122 Leadenhall Street. It was designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, and opened in July 2014.

The building is next to the Lloyds Building right in the heart of the financial district. The 225-meter skyscraper is already home to nearly 6,000 city workers.

The Walkie Talkie

One of the weirdest shaped skyscrapers on the planet The Walkie Talkie was opened in 2015. It caused a bit of a stir when it was discovered that the reflection from the building generated enough heat to fry an egg. The problem was solved by fitting a sunshade. At 160 meters, with 34 stories, it is the fifth tallest building in the City of London.

Those are some of the most recently opened London skyscrapers. Below we tell you about some of the buildings that are in the process of being built. None of the nicknames are official yet, but we are pretty sure (and hope) that some will stick.

The Walkie Talkie

The Graphic Equaliser

This skyscraper, which is on The Albert Embankment, will be a mix of apartments, offices and retail outlets. When finished there will be three towers of different heights built side by side making the building look like three bars on a graph or a stereo’s graphic equaliser display.

God’s Bongo

God’s Bongo is a great name for the cylinder shaped tower block that is planned for One Merchant Square. This will be another mixed use building, and it is due to be completed in 2018.

The Tip of the Iceberg

Unfortunately, the tip of the iceberg is not the name of a skyscraper that is currently being built or planned for the city of London, although it would be an apt name for the new skyscraper that is soon to be built at 52-54 Lime Street. This spiky skyscraper has planning permission and is set to open in 2017.

The skyscrapers that are already in London are just the start. There are plans for another 250 tower blocks. Not all of them will get off the drawing board, but enough of them will be built to transform London into a true high-rise city, and go some way to helping to meet the increasing demand for office space in London.