Shard and Cheesegrater part of a dying breed, says Ken Shuttleworth

The architect of London’s iconic Gherkin tower has pronounced the death of skyscrapers in the capital.

The raft of high-rise towers being built in the City to open by 2014, including the Shard and the Cheesegrater, will be the last of a dying breed of skyscrapers, he says.

Ken Shuttleworth, the architect at Norman Foster who designed the Gherkin, told Bloomberg News he expects developers to move away from skyscrapers to cheaper ‘ground-scrapers’.

“The age of bling is over,” Shuttleworth said. “Money now drives everything so if you can build something for half the price, you will. The tall glass box is dead.”

Tenants are demanding “austere and efficient” buildings that are more likely to be “ground-scrapers” than high-rises, he added.

Yesterday British Land announced it had won planning permission for a controversial groundscraper development at Broadgate in the City, which will house Swiss bank UBS.