Designs unveiled for London’s newest skyscraper

Designs unveiled for London’s newest skyscraper thumbnail

Published Jan 31, 2024, 11:48am|Updated Jan 31, 2024, 5:13pm

A new London skyscraper which will dwarf the Gherkin and become one of the tallest buildings in Europe has been unveiled.

1 Undershaft will sit at 309.6 meters and protrude across the capital’s iconic skyline, offering the highest occupied public floor height in the UK.

The building is so tall the Civil Aviation Authority had to insist it was lowered to avoid intruding on flight paths from London City Airport.

It will set between the Gherkin and the Cheesegrater buildings, making it the tallest building in the city’s financial district.

Eric Parry Architects have also included a free public viewing gallery and a restaurant for visitors to enjoy.

This follows a ‘re-evaluation and response to the post-pandemic needs, revised market demands, and the changing context and aspirations of the City of London’.

The firm said the building will be ‘efficient, refined and timeless’ which will be of ‘exceptional quality when seen from anywhere within London, at close quarters, in glimpsed views, and in the grander set piece of London’s skyline’.

Construction is set to begin in 2026 and be completed in 2030.

More than 170,000 tonnes of concrete, 12,200 tonnes of steel, 2,000 tonnes of glass and 2,600 tonnes of plasterboard will be used to build the skyscraper.

The plans include the demolition of the 28-storey Aviva Tower, which was built in the 1960s.

It comes after the phallic-shaped ‘Tulip’ observation tower was rejected because it will distract people from the Tower of London.

Speaking in 2021, Chief executive of Historic England, Duncan Wilson, said: ‘We have always opposed the proposal, mainly due to the impact it would have on the Tower of London, and so are pleased with this decision.

‘We have long been of the opinion that the Tulip would be visually intrusive and highly incongruous from key viewpoints of the Tower, detracting from the experience of visiting the site for millions of tourists and Londoners.’

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