Unbuilt London - Archive Articles

Unbuilt London: The Docklands Southern Relief Road
Unbuilt London: The Docklands Southern Relief Road

Long before the Isle of Dogs was filled with tower blocks, it was seen as a cheap plot of derelict land, and ideal for sticking a major road bypass through.

Unbuilt London: Ludgate’s iron footbridge
Unbuilt London: Ludgate’s iron footbridge

A marvel of the industrial age, a mighty iron footbridge permitting safe and quick passage for pedestrians over congested and dirty streets. At least, that was the plan.

Unbuilt London: The St Paul’s Bridge
Unbuilt London: The St Paul’s Bridge

Over the years there have been many attempts to build a bridge across the Thames near St Paul’s Cathedral, and this is the story of one of them.

Unbuilt London: The Regent’s Circus
Unbuilt London: The Regent’s Circus

London’s famous three – Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus, Regent’s Circus. Hang on, Regent’s Circus? Yes, the huge circle at the top of Regent Street lined with expensive houses. Haven’t you seen it?

Unbuilt London: The Twin London Bridges
Unbuilt London: The Twin London Bridges

When Old London Bridge was finally destined for the knackers yard, one of the many replacement proposals would have seen two mighty bridges constructed side by side.

Unbuilt London: Battersea Power Station’s football stadium
Unbuilt London: Battersea Power Station’s football stadium

In the dim and distant past, when Battersea Power Station was more ruin than construction site, a proposal was shown off that would have seen the old building become a major football stadium.

Unbuilt London: A giant glass wave over the South Bank
Unbuilt London: A giant glass wave over the South Bank

When culture seekers walk along the south bank admiring the views and skateboards, they should do so under a giant glass and steel canopy weaving its way along the Thames.

Unbuilt London: The Pyramid of Death
Unbuilt London: The Pyramid of Death

What was officially known as the Metropolitan Sepulcher, but more widely as the Pyramid of Death — was a proposed massive pyramid built on Primrose Hill, which would have stood a staggering 950 feet high.

Unbuilt London: The High-Speed Railplane Monorail
Unbuilt London: The High-Speed Railplane Monorail

Is it a plane? Is it a train? No, it’s Railplace! Racing above the streets of London carrying passengers from city centre to airports, to Brighton, to Glasgow, all at unbelievable speeds.

Unbuilt London: The Trafalgar Square Blob
Unbuilt London: The Trafalgar Square Blob

Today where a classical Victorian hotel stands overlooking Trafalgar Square, there should be a massive white curved pyramid — the Blob.

Unbuilt London: Vauxhall’s Green Giant
Unbuilt London: Vauxhall’s Green Giant

Where the confection of the MI6 building currently stands, there should be a gigantic tower block — the green giant.

Unbuilt London: Central London’s underground railway loop
Unbuilt London: Central London’s underground railway loop

Had plans gone as planned, London Underground’s Central line should look more like the Circle line running in a loop, not a long single line passing through the centre of London.

Unbuilt London: The Martian space centre at Bankside
Unbuilt London: The Martian space centre at Bankside

Had things gone according to plan, instead of an old power station full of art, there would be an outpost of Mars on the south-bank of the Thames.

Unbuilt London: The embankment railway
Unbuilt London: The embankment railway

Imagine a railway, working without steam, running on tall columns along the banks of the Thames — for that was a scheme created to link Blackfriars with Charing Cross in the 1840s.

Unbuilt London: The fake Venice next to Tower Bridge
Unbuilt London: The fake Venice next to Tower Bridge

Rather than full of glassy offices and a testicle, the south bank of the Thames by Tower Bridge should be a neo-Venetian folly.

Unbuilt London: A Bronze Slab Next to Parliament
Unbuilt London: A Bronze Slab Next to Parliament

In the early 1970s, plans were announced to demolish a cluster of old buildings opposite Big Ben and replace them with a vast monolith covered in bronzed glass.

Unbuilt London: The Georgian Houses of Parliament
Unbuilt London: The Georgian Houses of Parliament

The Houses of Parliament, that impressive confection of gothic architecture should look a lot plainer — in fact it should be Georgian in style — had plans to erect a new building in the 1730s been carried out.

Unbuilt London: The Oxford Street flyover
Unbuilt London: The Oxford Street flyover

Thirty years ago, a plan was shown off to replace the main road running along Oxford Street with a giant flyover.

Unbuilt London: Imperial Monumental Halls
Unbuilt London: Imperial Monumental Halls

Westminster Abbey is getting a bit crowded someone once thought, with all these monuments to dead people cluttering up the place. What’s needed is a great big extension, and a massive tower.

Unbuilt London: The Millennium Tower
Unbuilt London: The Millennium Tower

A tower taller and wider than the Shard was once planned to stand in the heart of the City of London. Penned by Sir Norman Foster, the Millennium Tower would have stood more than 380 metres high and looked down on The Shard across the river.

Unbuilt London: The 500 foot high Skyport One heliport
Unbuilt London: The 500 foot high Skyport One heliport

In the early days of the motorcar, architects were already looking to what would replace it as the popular transport of the upper classes, and obviously, private helicopters were to be the transport of choice.

Unbuilt London: A balloon barrage surrounding the city
Unbuilt London: A balloon barrage surrounding the city

In 1938, as ideas were being made for the defence of London, plans were shown off to surround London with a massive “aerial mine-field” made from over a thousand deadly balloons.

Unbuilt London: A giant pyramid for Hyde Park
Unbuilt London: A giant pyramid for Hyde Park

Compared to the great monuments of ancient lands, there are few if any buildings in London which can withstand the ravages of the millennia, and it’s time to build a mighty monument so that future generations can remember the grandeur that is the capital of a mighty empire.

Unbuilt London: Trafalgar Square as a Multi-Storey Car Park
Unbuilt London: Trafalgar Square as a Multi-Storey Car Park

Trafalgar Square’s a big empty space isn’t it? Surrounded by roads full of cars looking for somewhere to park. What a waste of space it is. Let’s turn it into a car park!