London is a patchwork of architectural styles from the classic and traditional to the quirky and modern. Londoners are lucky enough to have historic masterpieces such as Big Ben and the Tower of London watch over commuters as they hustle and bustle into work while shiny new nods to the future continue to redefine the skyline.
However, the debate wages on between whether modern or traditional architecture is king, especially when it comes to the rental housing market. Some favour the history and timeless style of Victorian and Georgian homes while others yearn for the glass and steal gleam of a modern high rise.
Recent research by Savills, showed that with London’s current housing crisis we will need to build at least 50,000 new homes in London each year – twice as many as we are currently building – to cope with demand. This means that contemporary builds could soon be more common than the familiar old terraced houses and sash windows.
While new builds are very popular in the short term (out-pricing older buildings initially) their value and admiration can wain over time. It is rare for a new developer to achieve a classic design for a property that endures in the way that period buildings do. This could partly explain the fact that period homes in prime central London areas appreciate four times faster than new builds.
Dolphin Square, designed by Gordon Jeeves FRIBA, has long been heralded as an incredible feat of both architectural design and engineering. The square, which was built in the mid 1930s, has a subtle and elegant Art Deco charm. At the time Dolphin Square was the largest self-contained block of flats in Europe.
Where do you stand on the modern vs traditional architecture debate?