Follows Sir Stuart Lipton’s plan to halve the price of tall buildings

Research by four major UK construction companies has questioned whether iconic buildings of the future need to be determined by their shape.

Building revealed last week that Sir Stuart Lipton had challenged Davis Langdon, Aedas, WSP and Hilson Moran to investigate how skyscrapers in London could be delivered for half the price.

The research team found that a move away from buildings with unusual structures and uneven floorplates and towards straight up-and-down, standardised square or rectangular schemes would be the most effective way to cut the cost of these buildings from an average of £250/ft2 to £125/ft2.

Concerns have been raised that this could result in boring replicas along the London skyline. But Judit Kimpian, Aedas’ head of sustainability, said this could be the start of “the reinvention of the iconic”.

She said: “There are architects out there who are happy to create buildings that are iconic but not for their shape - they can be iconic because of the level of functionality they deliver.”

Ken Shuttleworth, founder of Make, said: “We need to get back to just doing really beautiful, simpler rectangle forms that are more efficient.”