The diversity of London’s historic and modern commercial architecture

Many architects call London their home, including Coffey Architects. The wide range of commercial architecture in the city ranges from the breathtakingly classic and timeless Houses of Parliament to ultra-modern structures such as The Shard and London City Hall. You can trace the history of the city throughout the centuries by looking at the hugely diverse range of commercial architecture.

London is a haven for architects. As more businesses relocate to the capital and as the economy continues to grow, demands for commercial and public buildings is growing too. This has led to healthy competition within the capital to contribute to the ever-changing landscape. The most important thing for architects to keep in mind is that architecture should be designed with functionality in mind if they are contributing to commercial architecture. Even The Shard, the tallest building in the European Union, plays host to many offices and is also due to be the home of Al Jazeera. Skyscrapers such as 30 St. Mary Axe (the Gherkin) and Tower 42 dominate the skyline, providing offices and places of work. This combination of a unique look with functionality is vital in order to house the businesses calling London their home while contributing to the dynamic look of the capital.

However, titanic skyscrapers are not the only example of architecture with a commercial purpose. Though these types of structures are icons of the business and financial powerhouses of London, there are many other architectural examples that are somewhat smaller yet have still made an indelible contribution to the capital’s look. Many of London’s train and underground stations are good examples of architecture utilised for commercial uses. Paddington and St Pancras Stations, in particular, are examples of Victorian architecture which remain standing resolute even after all of these years. 10 Downing Street, perhaps one of the most famous houses, is a good example of Georgian architecture, especially externally, though it has been refurbished over the years. The rebuilt Royal Exchange also provides a stunning example of Victorian architecture at its finest.

As you can tell, the legacy of commercial architecture in London is something architects have to keep in mind when designing a project for their commercial clients. It is a city where modernity sits side by side with classical styles, something which makes London an extraordinarily unique place. London actively celebrates its architecture, particularly with the London Festival of Architecture, and the amount of home-grown architects based here continues to ensure that this grand city is constantly evolving as time marches on. The plethora of architects, skills and styles that come together on a regular basis as new projects are designed and built ensures the commercial architecture of London will remain beautiful to the eye and standing strong for many years to come.