Simply referred to as "the City," London's main historic and financial district is where skyscraper seekers will find many of its tallest and most recognizable buildings. Though it only represents a small fraction of Greater London geographically, it remains a vital part of the world-class city's urban identity. The composition, form, and aesthetic of this neighbourhood have dramatically changed in recent years thanks to new office skyscrapers that are among the tallest in Europe. This growth is especially palpable in Bishopsgate, one of the 25 wards that constitute the City. Along its eponymous street, two major highrises will continue the trend of skyline-altering building developments.

22 Bishopsgate has dropped in height, image via PLP Architecture

Though it recently shed 23 metres to avoid conflict with London's City Airport, at 255 metres and 59 storeys, 22 Bishopsgate is still set to become the tallest building in the City. Developed by AXA Investment Managers and Lipton Rogers, the PLP Architecture-designed skyscraper will sit only behind The Shard in the rankings. In lopping off the top few storeys, the profile of the building has been modified. Rather than the series of setbacks that previously composed the building's crown, the revised scheme now features a simpler and more uniform top. Now under construction, the building is scheduled for completion in 2019. But its status as the tallest in the so-called Square Mile may be short lived, as the 290-metre 1 Undershaft prepares to assume the throne.

Rendering for 100 Bishopsgate, image via Allies and Morrison and Arney Fender Katsalidis

A much shorter development by Brookfield Office Properties and Great Portland Estates, 100 Bishopsgate, clocks in at 40 storeys and 172 metres. The Royal Bank of Canada has spoken for 250,000 square feet of the development, which features an extruded glass design by Allies and Morrison and Arney Fender Katsalidis. Flailing outwards at its lower levels like a dress, the floor plates diminish in size as the building ascends. 

100 Bishopsgate showing off its canted walls, image by Flickr user Matt Brown via Creative Commons

London's perpetually expanding skyline looked substantially different before the turn of the millennium, when the 183-metre Tower 42 reigned supreme over the City. Since then, an assortment of new projects of all shapes and sizes have crowded the skies above this historic neighbourhood, leading Londoners to anguish over the visual and heritage impact tall buildings are having on the collective image of the city. 

22 Bishopsgate rises with 100 Bishopsgate in the background, image by Flickr user Matt Brown via Creative Commons

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Related Companies:  Allies and Morrison, Arney Fender Katsalidis, AXA Investment Managers, Brookfield Multiplex, Brookfield Property Partners, Great Portland Estates PLC, Lipton Rogers, PLP Architecture