The most famous London architects

Architecture in London is wonderfully diverse and vibrant. You will find a delicate mixture of old and new. When it comes to a typical home renovation, the architecture we work with here at Home Tales is generally fairly consistent in the grand scheme of things. While each property is unique, the traditional terraced home has a series of features that are consistent with one another. These features laid the groundwork for their era – Georgian, Edwardian and Victorian.

We thought we would step out of the architectural designs we are so familiar with – and show some appreciation to some of the architects who have shaped London’s skyline as we know it today. The chances are you know most of these buildings, but do you know the architects behind their design?

Christopher Wren – St Paul’s Cathedral 

It took 35 years to build this monumental landmark. Christopher Wren himself acknowledged this building was his greatest work. What made Christopher Wren unique was that he was a physicist, as well as an architect. He became involved in the repair effort following the Great Fire of London. He was named the King’s Surveyor of Works, which saw him oversee a number of London landmarks. These include the Royal Naval College in Greenwich, Hampton Court Palace and Kensington Palace. 

Renzo Piano – The Shard 

Renzo Piano has only designed one building in London – which we know as The Shard. This is London’s tallest building and is over 1000 feet high. Renzo once described skyscrapers as ‘aggressive phallic fortresses.’ He designed The Shard to challenge the traditional skyscraper design. Since opening in 2012, The Shard’s viewing platform has been a popular tourist attraction. 

Sir Charles Barry – The Houses of Parliament 

The Houses of Parliament can be traced back to the Middle Ages, but in 1834, the majority of the building were destroyed by a fire. Two year later, there was a competition to rebuild the Palace of Westminster, which Charles Barry won. 

Norman Foster – The Gherkin 

Norman Forster is responsible for many of London’s most iconic buildings, including the Gherkin. Norman Foster took an interest in engineering from a young age. He founded his own company called Foster & Partners and quickly gained a reputation for high-tech industrial design. Norman Foster was also the brains behind the Gherkin’s smaller, lopsided relation, London City Hall. He also designed Wembley Stadium and the Millennium Bridge. 

Denys Lasdun – The National Theatre 

Denys Lasdun is best known for his Brutalist creations, most notably the National Theatre. His designs were controversial, and the National Theatre was no exception. It’s imposing blockish form and use of concrete divided public opinion. Price Charles even once said ‘‘it’s a clever way of building a nuclear power station in the middle of London without anyone objecting’’. 

John Nash – Regent Street 

John Nash was responsible for designing a variety of London landmarks, including iconic buildings such as Buckingham Palace. Over a 50-year career, John Nash worked almost exclusively for Price Regent, which resulted in the transformation of the streets of Central London including Piccadilly Circus, St James’s Park and the signature curve of Regent Street. He also designed Marble Arch, which was intended to be the gateway to Buckingham Palace. Instead, it became the entrance to Hyde Park. 

Sir John Soane – Bank of England  

John Soane was the son of a bricklayer. He rose to the top of his profession sitting alongside John Nash in the Office of Works. He became a Professor at the Royal Academy, which played a pivotal role in his career. His friendship with Prime Minister William Pit led to his appointment as architect to the Bank of England. Other major projects include the Dulwich Picture Gallery. 

Here at Home Tales, we work with residential properties of all shapes and sizes. From small ground floor flats, to large 4 storey homes. We fully appreciate that home modifications should respect the architecture of the host property. Local councils frequently mention in their SPD (supplementary planning documents) that proposals should respect the architecture and local amenities. We have an expert planning team who have an incredible wealth of experience when it comes to local borough planning guidelines. It is our job to guide you during the design development, to create something that aligns with your wishes while still respecting the local planning guidelines. 

We have a wealth of experience to help you with your home renovation journey. Whether you would like more space, or simply a re-shuffle of your existing layout, we would be delighted to assist with your home renovation journey. Book a no obligation site visit today to discuss your project in more detail. You can do this by calling our team on 0207 043 2378 or emailing us at You can also book via our website. We have an online bookings page where you can confirm your slot within a few minutes. Following the visit we will issue you with a no obligation quote for the works. 

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