Economic recession notwithstanding, the City skyline is sprouting a whole new generation of skyscrapers. From 1980, for thirty years, the City’s tallest building was the 600ft-high Tower 42, designed as the NatWest Tower by Richard Seifert (in the shape of the bank’s logo). Richard Rogers’ Lloyd’s Building, on Leadenhall Street, completed in 1984, was more remarkable for its inside-out design than its modest height – even with Norman Foster’s 590ft-high Gherkin, it was the shape, not its height, that drew attention. In 2010, the NatWest Tower was finally topped by the Heron Tower, a fairly undistinguished 660-ft skyscraper, at 110 Bishopsgate, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox – on the plus side, public access means you can check out the shark aquarium in the atrium, and pop into the bar-restaurant on the 40th floor. More are planned: Rafael Viñoly’s 525-ft Walkie Talkie, 20 Fenchurch St, so-called because it will get wider as it gets bigger, will include a public “sky garden” on the roof; The Pinnacle, 22–24 Bishopsgate, also by Kohn Pedersen Fox, will be a swirling 945-ft helter-skelter of a tower (with a restaurant on the top floor); and The Cheesegrater, Richard Rogers’ 737-ft triangular-shaped office block at 122 Leadenhall St, is due for completion in 2013.

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