Inspiration behind the new buildings in London

We know the nicknames for many London landmark buildings but how much do we know about the architect’s actual inspiration?

Let’s see – there’s the gherkin, the one that resembles a walkie-talkie, and the one that has a lot of similarities with an armadillo. Yes, there is no escaping from a nickname the public chooses, and normally the comparisons are outright ridiculous.

Would a horrible nickname prevent me from buying a flat or renting an office in that house? No way! Still, it’s nice to hear the architect communicate their vision and what actually inspired them. The buyers like to think the building they choose as their home is much more than just simple bricks and mortar.

Here are the inspirations behind some London new builds that are under construction or have recently completed.

Dollar Bay E14 – The Waterfall

The design for Dollar Bay was largely inspired by its waterside location, said Christian Male, partner at SimpsonHaugh and Partners, to The Wharf. “We wanted this statuesque form that stood very upright facing the view. But also to develop the water theme, which is where the idea of a cascading waterfall that is picking up speed came from.”

Spire London E14 – The Orchid

HOK was inspired by the site’s nautical history and by the orchid, a flower cultivated in China for more than 3,000 years. Three petals form the spire, creating faceted glass facades and nautical style ‘prow’ and ‘bow’ contours. The tower’s angled roof allows for outside terraces in the premier and penthouse apartments, while feature louvers allow for natural ventilation throughout the building.

61 Oxford Street W1 – Alvar Aalto’s Savoy Vase

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris found inspiration in the iconic fluid lines of an Alvar Aalto vase (via Perspective Global). You can get your Alvar Aalto’s Savoy vase here.

Chelsea Creek SW6 – Amsterdam and Copenhagen

Designed by Squire and Partners, Chelsea Creek was inspired by the canal-side architecture of Amsterdam and Copenhagen. Amsterdam’s ring of canals received UNESCO world heritage status in 2010.

Riverwalk SW1 – Curvy River

Designed by Stanton Williams, the building on the banks of Thames was inspired by the sinuous curves of the river as it winds past the site.

The Wardian E14 – Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward

Inspired by the work of one Londoner, the great explorer, botanist, and inventor, Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward. A doctor by trade, he changed the world with his botanical glass container, the deceptively simple-looking ‘Wardian case’. The vision for Wardian is to take inspiration from his curiosity, his spirit of adventure and his sense of precision, and to create the most exciting new development in London, states the development brochure.

The Music Box SE1 – The Music

Obviously, the theme here is the music. The vertical panels of The Music Box are like piano keyboards, says SPPARC Architecture in this promotional video.

Visit our new developments database to find out more about the new builds in London.

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