15 New Buildings Completed in London During 2020
We might be living in a pandemic but London hasn’t stopped building this year
Let’s face it, most of us have spent 2020 indoors. Whilst you don’t have to be living in a pandemic to do that — try studying architecture for 7 years — being deprived of exploration can be misleading in a city like London. The fact that we haven’t been out visiting buildings hasn’t meant the construction industry has taken a break.
Quite the opposite. This past year has actually been a good one. Cultural centres, housing and schools popped up in the city amongst many other typologies as you are about to see. Of course, some of these will stay empty for a while (hotels and co-working spaces for instance) but getting to completion day is a prowess in current Covid-19 times. Let’s be honest, almost everything is a prowess these days 😉
Whether you live in London or are planning to visit soon, these new structures are worth checking out. And if you have to wait a little longer, chances are you might even be able to visit Foster + Partner’s Tulip-shaped attraction, or The Sperm as we affectionately call it at Architectour.
Let’s now see what London has in store for you.
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1. The Scalpel by KPF (2020)
52 Lime Street, known as The Scalpel, is a striking 190-metre office tower in the heart of the City of London, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) for W.R. Berkley as the location of its UK headquarters and to let to tenants. A considered addition to the skyline, the building works in conversation with its neighbours to complement the overall composition of the ‘City Cluster’ whilst improving the public realm at the base with the introduction of a new public plaza. Read more here.
Location: 52 Lime Street, London EC3 (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Monument, Bank
2. North Greenwich Sculptural Screen by Neiheiser Argyros (2020)
North Greenwich Sculptural Screen is a 14-metre tall perforated metal sculptural screen that wraps around a London Underground exhaust vent and fire escape. The enclosure folds and thickens to contain a large digital media screen, a small cafe, and public restrooms. The corrugated metal skin both obscures and reveals the infrastructure contained within, creating a subtly dynamic veil that changes expression throughout the day. Read more here.
Location: Pier Walk, Greenwich Peninsula, London SE10 0ES (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: North Greenwich
3. Kingston University Town House by Grafton Architects (2020)
The recipient of this year’s RIBA Gold Medal, Grafton Architects, has completed Town House — a £50m landmark teaching building for Kingston University in London. Designed to act as the University’s front door and a gateway to Kingston upon the Thames, Town House is part of a new vision for Kingston, encouraging informal learning and building stronger links with the town centre and connecting its vibrant student population with the local community. Read more here.
Location: University, Penrhyn Rd, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2EE (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Surbiton (National Rail)
4. St. Paul’s School by Walters & Cohen Architects (2020)
The school wanted to replace the 1960s CLASP buildings, which were nearing the end of their lifespan, with a new general teaching building fit for 21st-century education. Their vision was for learning, discussion, and interaction to happen everywhere — not just in the classrooms and library — but they were not sure what this could look like. Walters & Cohen worked with the school community to understand their ethos, and then expanded the brief to include breakout spaces, which are peppered around the school to encourage teamwork and collaboration. Read more here.
Location: Lonsdale Rd, Barnes, London SW13 9JT (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Hammersmith
5. Rolling Stock Yard Offices by Squire & Partners (2020)
Rolling Stock Yard is a new development in King’s Cross designed as a contemporary response to its industrial setting providing 57,500 sq ft of workspace for creative small to medium-sized businesses. The design concept draws on the area north of King’s Cross St Pancras, historically characterised by the machinations of transport, freight, and industry, and now an emerging creative quarter. Converging railway lines and shipping containers are referenced in the nine-storey building, expressed as a series of stacked elements with a black profiled steel structure emulating parallel railway tracks running horizontally across the facades. Read more here.
Location: 188 York Way, London N7 9AD (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Caledonian Road
6. The Export Building at Republic by Studio RHE (2020)
The Export Building has been comprehensively refurbished by award-winning architects Studio RHE, creatively transforming an unloved 90s office development to create a dynamic working environment. The project delivers 175,000 sq ft of office space over nine floors, with an additional 25,000 sq ft of retail, leisure and event space available at ground floor and basement. At the heart of the Export Building a feature has been made of the existing nine storey atrium, with new structural elements built in cross-laminated and glulam timber that add floor area. Read more here.
Location: 1 Clove Cres, Poplar, London E14 2BA (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Poplar
7. Bermonds Locke Hotel by Holloway Li (2020)
Brought to life with repurposed materials, the studio’s innovative design transforma the 143-room hotel into a surreal, iridescent haven, inspired by California’s Joshua Tree and Mojave desert. The desert-inspired aesthetic begins with a moonlit reception bathed in a glittering mirage created by overhead mirrors, inspired by The Weather Project by Olafur Eliasson. Visitors can meander through open co-working spaces basking in soft light — with swing chairs, fixed concrete banquette seating, and suspended planters punctuating the space between bar and restaurant. Read more here.
Location: 157 Tower Bridge Rd, Bermondsey, London SE1 3LW (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: London Bridge, Bermondsey
8. Brixton Windmill Education & Community Center by Squire & Partners (2020)
Squire & Partners have completed a new Education and Community Centre adjacent to Brixton Windmill, the last remaining active windmill in London. The centre, designed for the local council and charity Friends of Windmill Gardens (FoWG), will support activities hosted by the Grade II* listed heritage building and secure its use for future generations. Conceived as a simple and beautiful timber framed space, the building is designed to serve a variety of users — including school groups, adult education initiatives, community groups and local residents. Read more here.
Location: 22 Blenheim Gardens, Brixton, London SW2 5BZ (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Brixton
9. Old Ford Road by pH+ Architects (2020)
Overlooking Victoria Park, Old Ford Road interprets the language of the wharf buildings along the Hertford Union Canal to create 8 new homes on a complex site in East London. The scale of the scheme, three storeys, topped with a habitable roof level sympathetically responds to the adjacent apartment blocks, continuing their line along the canal. Its distinctive gabled profile echoes the rhythm of the surrounding terraces, while the robust simplicity of its forms, with large openings maximising light to interior living spaces, echo the historic industrial vernacular of the canal area. Read more here.
Location: 213 Old Ford Rd Bow, London E3 5NP (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Bethnal Green, Mile End
10. 6 Orsman Road Workspace by Waugh Thistleton Architects + Storey (2020)
The sustainably focused office building comprises 34,000 sq. ft. across five floors and has been designed to enhance productivity. The building champions the use of sustainable materials and has been built using an innovative hybrid structure that combines cross-laminated timber (CLT) and steel, meaning that the whole building can ultimately be demounted and repurposed. Read more here. Another co-working space worth visiting is MYO Workspace by SODA Studio, completed in 2019.
Location: 6 Orsman RdHaggerston, London N1 5RA (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Haggerston
11. Broken Wharf London Apartment by Grzywinski+Pons (2020)
Locke at Broken Wharf is a 113 room hotel with a bar, restaurant, lounge and co-working space. This adaptive reuse project comprised an addition, complete gut renovation and comprehensive fit out of an existing seven story office building in the very heart of the British capital. While the incredible riverfront location of the site was a true gift, the disused commercial block that we was poised to transform was hardly predisposed towards a hospitality program. Built in the 1970’s, the eccentric edifice had a long, thin plan occasionally interrupted by idiosyncratic octagonal turrets. Each level, circumscribed by a warren of cubicles and suspended grid ceilings, had no period character to exalt or embellish, so the structure was stripped down to its bones. Read more here.
Location: Broken Wharf House, 2 Broken Wharf, London, EC4V 3DT (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Mansion House
12. Southwark Park pavilion by Bell Phillips (2020)
Housing a cafe, offices and public amenities, the single-storey pavilion is one element of a wider masterplan for the area by Kinnear Landscape Architects. With a loosely triangular plan, the pavilion’s three main concave elevations face three different areas of the park. There’s a lake to the west, a nearby cricket oval to the southeast and the neighbouring building of the Southwark Park Galleries to the northeast. Towards the lake, a panoramic strip of glazing opens onto a small terrace area for the café, providing views out over the water. Read more here.
Location:Southwark Park Rd, London SE16 2JH (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Surrey Quays, Bermondsey
13. Chiswick Park Footbridge by Useful Studio (2019)
London-based Useful Studio has connected a tube station to a business park in Chiswick, west London, with a pedestrian bridge made from weathering steel. Named Chiswick Park Footbridge, the pedestrian bridge forms part of a route between a London Underground station and the Chiswick Business Park. The bridge was built from three weathering steel arches that increase in height from west to east as the spans grow. This means that the path curves around an existing building, creating the most efficient route. Read more here.
Location: Chiswick Business Park, Chiswick, London W4 5XU (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Gunnersbury
14. Brunel Building by Fletcher Priest Architects (2019)
Derwent London’s Brunel Building, a 17-storey new-build workplace building designed by Fletcher Priest, overlooks the Grand Union Canal and Paddington Station, the London terminus to the Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Great Western Railway, and is next to the site of Brunel’s first-ever bridge. The elevated A40 expressway runs past and the Elizabeth Line, the new cross-London railway, stops near-by. One hundred-year-old cast-iron subway tunnels run beneath the site. Read more here.
Location: 1 & 2 Canalside Walk, London W2 1DG (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Paddington
15. The Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children by Stanton Williams (2019)
Dedicated to delivering world-class research together with new treatments and therapies, the Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children for Great Ormond Street Hospital Foundation Trust, University College London, and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity is a pioneering pediatric facility of global significance. Combining leading research and outstanding outpatient care under one roof, Stanton Williams’ state-of-the-art building brings together, for the first time, 500 scientists, clinicians, and academics. Working together in a collaborative environment, they will partner in ground-breaking research: translating it into hope for children across the world. Read more here.
Location: 20c Guilford St, Holborn, London WC1N 1DZ (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Holborn, Chancery Lane
We hope you liked this list and get yourself started as there are another 290+ locations waiting for you in London. If you need some help to arrange your plan or want to listen to London’s quirkiest and most fun stories, then make sure to book a tour with us.
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