London could have been very different

As you can expect there have been tens of thousands of different proposals for public and commercial architecture in London. While many of these projects get permission and come to life, even more fail. Some very interesting projects didn’t get approval. We would like to look at a few of them below.

A Central Airport

Way back in 1934 there was a plan to build an airport in Westminster over the Thames. It would have been a raised structure right next to the Houses of Parliament. The height would allow boats to sail up the river. There would have been elevators for passengers in the supports as well as storage for planes and fuel below the surface.

A Pyramid

Victories over the French at the Battle of the Nile and Battle of Trafalgar established British supremacy at sea. There was a plan to create a large monument to these victories at the top end of Whitehall. It would have been a huge pyramid taller than St. Paul’s. Instead of this structure the land was cleared and a statue of Nelson was erected.

A Monorail

Around half a century ago people were looking for ways to rejuvenate public transport in London. One idea was to create a four loop monorail to replace buses. Although there was some support for the project, it did not progress.

A Victorian Skyscraper

In 1851 a huge glass palace was the home of the Great Exhibition. After the show there were different plans for what to do with the property. One of the most interesting ideas was to build a skyscraper. The building would have been 1,000 feet tall, the same height as the Shard. It would have been an incredible landmark with elevators so people could reach the summit.

This is just four of the most high profile projects. There are plenty of others that would have created eye-catching public commercial architecture. It shows that the city has always been thinking ahead and looking at cutting edge ideas.

At Coffey Architects we have the skills to take on almost any kind of project because of our talented team. If you are looking at designing a new workspace or refurbishing a current property, call on us.