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The Gherkin is Londoners' favourite tall tower; The Shard is second

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The Gherkin is Londoners' favourite tall tower; The Shard is second

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing

London towers London towers

Londoners have chosen The Gherkin as their favourite building, attracting 36% of the vote between13 tall towers in a poll commissioned by New London Architecture think tank.

The Norman Foster-designed building, at 30 St Mary Axe, beat western Europe’s tallest building, The Shard, with 22%.

The Leadenhall Building (nicknamed the Cheesegrater) was third with 8% while the Barbican - a concrete monstrosity for some - was Londoners' least favourite tall building and attracted only two votes.

The 13 towers were: The Gherkin, The Shard, The Leadenhall Building, One Canada Square, Strata Tower, St George Wharf, 20 Fenchurch Street, Tower 42, Broadgate Tower, Centre Point, St Helen’s, the Heron Tower, and the Barbican.

The NLA conducted the poll with Ipsos MORI to coincide with the exhibition 'London’s Growing… Up! The rise and rise of London’s tall buildings'. NLA said the aim was "to see how Londoners really feel about the increasing number of tall buildings planned for their capital".

When asked to consider the number of tall buildings in the capital relative to the 23 built in the past five years, 45% felt that tall buildings had improved the London skyline. 

Whether the design fits in with the London skyline topped the list of Londoners’ priorities when constructing new towers. 53% chose this as their highest or second highest priority. Design (35%) and affordability (32%) were also priorities for new towers. Younger Londoners focused on whether the new towers could offer new job opportunities.

Most Londoners don’t aspire to live in tall buildings. Indeed, 7 in 10 aged over 34 were unwilling to live in the high-rise towers. Period.

When it came to employment, however, 61% of Londoners are happy to work in tall buildings.

NLA chairman Peter Murray said: "I am pleased to see that more people these days are in favour of tall buildings than against - well designed towers in the right place can enhance the skyline. Equally bad ones do the opposite. We must be vigilant."

'London’s Growing... Up!' is a free exhibition at NLA’s galleries at The Building Centre, 26 Store Street, London WC1E 7BT from 3 April to 12 June. Public opening hours are: Monday to Friday: 9am-6pm; Saturday: 10am-5pm; Sunday: Closed. It's part of the London Festival of Architecture which runs from 1-30 June.

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