London is one of the world’s most iconic cities, and the skyline over the Thames has changed significantly in the last two hundred years. London began to see bigger, more grandiose buildings spring up along the river as a result of the industrial revolution, and even through two world wars, three depressions and two recessions, the skyline continued to evolve.
The timeline begins at the turn of the 19th century – the beginning of the 1800s falling in the middle of the Industrial Revolution; a concept so arguably vast and far-reaching that it reportedly “formed the greatest transformation in human history since the remote times when men invented agriculture and metallurgy, writing, the city and the state.” (Hobsbawm, Revolution 1962). Now, we can watch as the city of London, a metropolis that is home to one of the most iconic skylines in the world, transforms throughout this period; through political reform, social class development, total mechanized warfare, celebration and destruction. From the dismal, dingy city of Blake’s “London” to the sprawling, gleaming metropolis of the future – London is changing, and we find that really cool.
Click the image above and watch as new, instantly recognisable buildings like the Shard, the Gherkin and One Canada Square at Canary Wharf pop up through the years – whilst other buildings, like the Shot Tower, Euston Arch and the Tabernacle are demolished, destroyed by air raids or gutted by fire. All the while, important, significant, exciting and even disastrous events in Britain’s rich history envelope the artistic construction of bricks and mortar by some of Britain’s most talented architects.
Do you see any important or interesting correlations between the development of London’s skyline and the events happening around it? Join the discussion in the comments below or on Twitter – we would love to know your opinions!