The capital has some breathtaking architecture, from historic buildings such as St. Paul’s Cathedral to modern additions like The Shard.
Aside from all the famous landmarks, London has become a city famous for its restoration projects and creative building solutions.
With the property market one of the most competitive in the world, making use of what’s available has become a necessary method to get a foothold in the city. This includes the renovation of historic buildings, reimagining residential housing in limited spaces and repurposing industrial buildings to revitalise certain areas.
Below we explore some inspiring stories that have graced the capital.
Preserving the past
London has a rich cultural and political history. Few landmarks symbolise this better than Big Ben. Renovations had been ongoing for nearly 5 years, from 2017-2022, to restore the clock tower that’s been standing for over 160 years.
As one of the most recognisable sights in the city, the renovations were intended to ensure it survives another 160 years and to protect its UNESCO World Heritage status.
Another great renovation story is of the train station, now named St Pancras International. Many would be surprised to hear that it was nearly abandoned just 30 years ago. But refurbishment in the mid-2000s has well and truly transformed it into one of London’s premier transport hubs, connecting London to Europe and many parts of the UK.
With space coming at a premium in many parts of London, residential and self-builders have been forced to get creative with design and construction. Some of the most inspiring renovation stories are the apartments built within Victorian gasholders in and around the King’s Cross area. They’re incredible bits of ingenuity, even if they are unaffordable for the average buyer!
All around London, we see examples of brilliant residential design within constraints. One family managed to effectively double the size of their tiny Peckham home with innovative additions above and behind. This is a common theme, with many homes being built or transformed on tiny plots to maximise space and return on investment. In such tight quarters, JCT insurance is a necessary precaution in the event of damage to surrounding buildings.
London’s rich industrial heritage is evident right across the city. Some of the most famous landmarks have been protected and preserved with modern renovations, many converted to bring new investment to barren industrial areas. For example, Bankside Power Station is now home to London’s Tate Modern, creating an eclectic and fascinating site for visitors to explore.
Similarly, the more recognisable Battersea Power Station has been transformed into a premier shopping and leisure destination. Preserving tradition and original features is important to showcase the capital’s industrial heritage, but developing new means of income and interest is a fantastic initiative for the area.