The City of London could be about to get a new tallest building, if new plans revealed on Monday go ahead.
The plans, released by architect Eric Parry, are to create a huge new skyscraper at One Undershaft, right in the heart of London’s insurance district.
The new tower, which will be built by Singaporean developer Aroland Holdings, will be 303.6m tall when it tops out, comprising 73 storeys and 90,000 square metres of space. It will accommodate 10,00 people.
Once completed, the new tower will be by the far the tallest building in the City of London — far exceeding the heights of the 230m high Salesforce Tower, and the 225m Leadenhall Building, also known as the “Cheesegrater” — currently the tallest buildings in the Square Mile.
In fact, the only building in London that will match up to One Undershaft, as it is currently being called, is the Shard at London Bridge, which at 303.6m tall, is exactly the same height as the proposed new tower. The building will be pretty much as tall as any building in London can be, thanks to rules around buildings and the flight paths of planes.
“The height was always predetermined,” Eric Parry said in an interview with the Financial Times “Between the Civil Aviation Authority’s limit and the Corporation of London’s plan, this was always going to be the tallest building in the City.”
Rules from the Civil Aviation authority state that buildings in London can’t be taller than 310m high.
One Undershaft is currently occupied by the London office of insurer Aviva, who have a 28-storey tower on the site, which was built in the late 1960s. The building was heavily damaged in 1992 when an IRA bomb was set off in the nearby Baltic Exchange building, now the site of the “Gherkin” building at 30 St Mary Axe. It is currently undergoing substantial building work.
Speaking about the proposed new skyscraper, Parry said “The City of London is proving it can yet again attract international investment in creating unique and important new buildings. This building will set new standards for the City in terms of comfort, quality, environmental sustainability and putting the public at the heart of the tower.”
He added that “Most skyscrapers are used Monday to Friday but One Undershaft will be used seven days a week, with the public able to enjoy the new public square, viewing platform and restaurant every day. It will be the jewel in the crown of the City of London and something we hope Londoners will be very proud of.”
Other projects in the capital designed by Parry’s studios include the new building of Italian insurers Generali at 10 Fenchurch Street, and One Eagle Place in Piccadilly.
As with all new London skyscrapers, the One Undershaft project needs a nickname, and according to a report in the Daily Telegraph, some have started calling it “The Trellis”, thanks to the distinctive trellis pattern that can be seen on the outside of the building in the images released by Eric Parry architects.
The project is one of a series of super-ambitious new skyscraper developments being proposed in London. There are several skyscrapers currently under construction in the City of London, while in October, architect Renzo Piano revealed the so-called “Skinny Shard” that they want to build in the Paddington district of town.
No timeframe has been put on the new skyscraper yet, but is likely to be a few years before building even starts.
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