Perched like a nest on top of the old MI6 building, Apartment 164, at 100 Westminster Bridge Road, SE1, has ?the best views of any apartment currently for sale in London?, Mr Dalton says. Savills are asking £4.5m for the 2,626sq ft apartment, with its ?mesmerising? panoramic views over London from Canary Wharf to Hyde Park.

Bought by the current owners for their own use, the penthouse has been renovated to science fiction standards of perfection to complement the constantly changing backdrop of the city below. The vast open plan layout provides for an enormous master suite and a secondary bedroom suite on the 21st floor, with a vast reception/dining room, kitchen and balcony on the 22nd floor.

The further you look to the east, the more London?s skyline changes, as residential developers follow the global trend of building upwards rather than outwards. Skyscraper apartment blocks such as Ballymore?s Ontario Tower on the Isle of Dogs, and Berkeley Homes?s Aragon Tower in Deptford will soon be overtaken by ever taller buildings such as St George?s 49-storey Vauxhall Tower, with a 600-ft tower at Bishopsgate and four more towers at Canary Wharf already in the pipeline.

But Irish developers Ballymore plan to outdo them all with their futuristic, £800m Pan Peninsula project on the waterside next to Canary Wharf at Marshwall, E14. Designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill, the master planners for Canary Wharf, Pan Peninsula will consist of two interlinking towers of 39 and 50 storeys.

The towers will have huge floor-to-ceiling glass ?walls? on each floor to maximise light and views. The first phase of apartments in the 50 storey tower is being launched by Ballymore (07000 720720) at prices ranging from £230,000 for a studio suite, from £315,000 for a one bed apartment and from £415,000 for a two bed apartment.

The flagship duplex penthouse will cost more than £10m, a record for an apartment in Docklands. Following intense interest from a number of high profile businessmen, the scale of the penthouse designed as a single level apartment has increased dramatically. The concept now is for an 8000sq ft duplex with acres of rooftop terraces.

This article was originally published in Country Life magazine, November 17, 2005. To subscribe click here.