'London's Growing Up', the new exhibition opening today at the NLA, is a showcase of the British capital's latest crop of high-rise towers that are currently in development or construction, alongside completed landmarks including The Shard and Heron Tower.
The survey focuses on how the city's most high-profile tall developments will impact its architectural fabric, from the physical changes they will make to its skyline to the influence the buildings will have on the rise of London's role as a global bastion of design and innovation. The latest boom in construction by the likes of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Herzog & de Meuron and more, is aimed at boosting the city's living capacity to accommodate the significant population growth expected in the next 20 years.
Currently, there are over 230 towers planned for London - around 80% of them residential and each one reaching no less than 20 storeys. '[The] people in London need to understand what is going on and the impact that these developments are having in the city,' explains NLA chairman and exhibition curator Peter Murray. 'Nothing of this scale has happened before. We are witnessing a movement in history.' The next generation of towers will allow for the creation of new public spaces and fuel urban regeneration.
Comprising physical architecture models, renderings, photographs, time-lapse video projections and even a workstation where visitors can create their own London skyline, the timely exhibition is informative as well as inspiring, and is a worthy contribution to the current and hotly debated subject of high-rise building in the capital.