New London Architecture

Tall Buildings

High density in the post-pandemic city 

Tall Buildings are increasingly becoming part of London, a city traditionally associated with a low-rise, low-density character. The NLA London Tall Buildings Survey has provided the only comprehensive review of tall buildings in the pipeline in London since 2014. This report and associated NLA programme has been driving the debate on how tall buildings contribute to the city, analysing key trends in tall developments and providing insights into the policy, construction and design of this typology of buildings. 
There is no doubt that the disruption brought by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 will have significant impact on the tall buildings pipeline. But the lockdown has also brought new questions about the quality of living in tall developments and dense urban centres. What do residents like about living in tall buildings and what would they improve? And what would be the role of tall buildings in London as the city recovers and how this typology responds to broader challenges such as the zero carbon targets, the need to adapt and be flexible and the future of the polycentric city?
2020 has also been a crucial year in addressing some of the other challenges that the construction and development industry face ahead, from finalising the Brexit negotiations, to significant policy changes in the planning system and building regulations as a result of the Grenfell inquiry. How will all these factors impact on tall buildings in London?
This year-round programme centres around the London Tall Buildings Survey 2021, which will be published in March 2021, and an annual series of events and editorial pieces inviting industry experts and the public to discuss one of the capital’s most debated topics. 


News Video Research

Expert Panel

Stuart Ballie, Partner, Head of Planning, Knight Fran
Stuart has more than 20 years’ experience of working in London. Stuart started his career with the Government Office for London before spending four years with the London Borough of Newham and then moving into consultancy roles for WSP, GL Hearn and now Knight Frank.
A specialist in Town Planning and Regeneration, Stuart oversees project delivery on a wide range of planning projects, coordinating multidisciplinary teams and working with stakeholders to deliver planning permissions. He works across all sectors and with a broad range of clients including investors/funds, housebuilders, housing associations and public sector agencies.
Stuart has led the analysis of the NLA’s London Tall Buildings Survey for several years and has been at the forefront of debate on the issues surrounding their impact and evolution. He has a particular interest in finding and testing all options to address London’s housing pressing supply issues.
Dominic Bettison, Director, Wilkinson Eyre   
A director at WilkinsonEyre since 2006, Dominic has led many of the practice’s key projects, with an emphasis on tall buildings. These include the 440m high Guangzhou International Finance Center, winner of the RIBA Lubetkin Prize for Best International Building in 2012, and the 330m Wuhan Qiaokou tower. Phase 1 of CIBC Square, two 248m, 54-storey towers in Toronto, will complete in 2021.
Dominic is a founding member of the London chapter of the Council for Tall Buildings and the Urban Habitat (CTBUH) Urban Realm Committee.
Gerard Maccreanor, Founding Partner, Director, Maccreanor Lavington Architects   
Gerard established Maccreanor Lavington with Richard Lavington in 1992. Working from London and Rotterdam, he has expertise of dense, large scale mixed-use regeneration schemes and has led and shaped thinking across the practice. His work on tall buildings includes the Blackfriars Circus scheme, which was cited by critics as “a masterstroke of typological reinvention” for its use of brick as a primary cladding material for a 27-storey residential tower. Gerard sits on several London Design Review Panels and has taught extensively throughout Europe. 
Jo Bacon, Partner, Allies and Morrison
An architect who has worked on an extensive project range from a classroom building to a 40-storey tower, Jo is managing partner at Allies and Morrison. She led the collaborative team on 100 Bishopsgate, a highly complex project comprising a tower and neighbouring buildings and public realm in the City of London; and currently leads the delivery of major projects for the practice at Elephant & Castle and London Victoria. She is a RIBA and AA Trustee and has been shortlisted for AJ’s Woman Architect of the Year.
John Bushell, Design Principal, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)   
John has achieved critical acclaim for his innovative and distinctive commercial and mixed-use buildings around the world. 
Drawing on KPF’s global expertise, John has incorporated the tenets of mixed-use design into high-profile projects in London including One Crown Place in Hackney; DAMAC Tower in Nine Elms; and South Bank Tower in Southwark, the transformation and expansion of a 1970’s office block.
Matt Voyce, Executive Director – Construction, Quintain   
Matt leads the project management team on the transformation of Quintain’s 85 acre development at Wembley Park, with specific responsibility for design management, procurement and construction.
Over the last 10 years Matt has successfully delivered on time and to budget, residential, commercial, hotel, retail, infrastructure and public realm projects totalling 2.6m sq ft and at present is managing the construction of over 3,500 homes, infrastructure and public realm.
He is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
Russell Whitehead, Director, Robert Bird Group    
Russell is a Director heading up the Building Structures division at Robert Bird Group’s London office. A structural engineer, his projects include delivery of the 100 Bishopsgate tower over a period of nine years, leading the design of 1 Leadenhall tower, and spearheading the conceptual design of several early stage office towers in central London with some of the world’s leading architects. He embraces fully the principle of integrating the design of permanent structures with detailed consideration of construction sequence and methodology, to produce outcomes that are best for the project.
Stephanie Leung, Associate, LDA Design
Stephanie is a chartered landscape architect, with over 10 years of professional experience in design and delivery of highly complex public realm and residential projects in London, including Alto and Landsby, Wembley Park first purpose-built PRS development.  She is currently leading the design and delivery of high-rise residential schemes including the Robinson at Wembley Park, Westferry Printworks and North Quay at Canary Wharf.  She is also working on HS2 Euston Public Realm project transforming the public realm around Euston Station and re-imagining the historic Euston Square Gardens.
Steve Kennard, Director of Regeneration, Hadley Group 
Steve has been involved in Hadley Property Groups larger regeneration schemes for the last 5 years. In previous roles at the GLA, London Development Agency and Land Securities he acquired a comprehensive understanding, breadth of experience and considerable passion for what it takes to conceive and deliver large-scale complex mixed use master plans including tall buildings in places such as the Royal Docks, the Olympic Park, Ebbsfleet and Battersea Power Station.

Tom Alexander, Director, Aukett Swanke     
Tom is an architect of strategies, places, buildings and spaces across residential, industrial, education, workplace, and various hybrids of these. He has designed multi use hybrid clusters and tall buildings in the UK, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe. He also leads our R+D explorations and innovations into sustainable agile environments. He studied at Kingston University and the Architectural Association, is a visiting critic at Loughborough School of Architecture, a trustee of the Higher Education Design Quality Forum 
(HEDQF), an event speaker and panellist, an NLA Awards judge and a WAF Awards judge.  
Gwyn Richards, Interim Chief Planning Officer and Development Director, City of London Corporation         
Gwyn is Head of Design within the development management division of the City of London’s planning team. Richards, who has worked at the corporation for eight years, leads a team of design officers negotiating with developers submitting planning applications. Prior to working at the corporation, Richards was area design and conservation officer at Westminster City Council, and also held the same role at London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
Emma Talbot, Director of Planning, London Borough of Lewisham
Emma leads on the operation of Lewisham’s planning functions, promoting and coordinating development focused on strategic place making, to promote the economic, social and environmental well-being of the Borough’s residents.
Emma has been with the Council for over 15 years, leading on the most significant development and regeneration projects.
Michael Ritchie, Place Shaping Team Leader, London Borough of Tower Hamlets 
Michael is a planner, urban designer and the manager of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets’ Place Shaping Team.  He has travelled to China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Canada on a research fellowship to study high density development, with a particular focus on tall buildings. Michael has worked on a wide range of high profile development proposals and has helped to produce the new Tower Hamlets Local Plan and High Density Living Supplementary Planning Document.
Ender Ozkan, Vice President - Europe, RWDI
Ender is one of the leading climate consultants in Europe. He leads RWDI’s vibrant teams in Europe, providing environmental and climate consulting services to building designers across the world.
Ender has participated in the design of over 300 tall towers and large masterplans, with the aim of developing cost-effective solutions to environmental challenges without compromising the integrity of design. Ender also frequently works with planning authorities and his recent collaboration with the Corporation of London on climate-adaptive design of the Square Mile has won numerous awards, including the coveted Mayor’s Award for Planning Excellence.
See all NLA expert Panels

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