The City's tallest skyscraper gets the go-ahead

Helen Cahill
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It will be just a few metres shorter than the Shard (Source: DBox for Eric Parry Architects)

The tallest building in the City of London, 1 Undershaft, has just received planning approval.

Rising up 73 storeys, the new glass giant will be the second tallest tower in western Europe after the Shard. To make room for the building, Aviva Tower will be demolished.

Read more: Steel group Severfield sets its sights on 1 Undershaft and Google HQ

The City of London Corporation signed off the design from architect Eric Parry this morning with 19 votes in favour of the building versus two against.

The design includes a new public square at the base of the building, and the reception will be elevated, allowing the public to walk beneath it.

The public will also be able to access a viewing gallery at the top of the tower through dedicated lifts. The Museum of London is in discussions with the developer, Singapore-based Aroland Holdings, about establishing a gallery at the top of the building.

Chris Hayward, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s planning and transportation committee, said:

Over the next 30 years I expect that we will need to deliver office space for more than 50,000 extra workers within the Square Mile, and this development is important in reaching that end goal.

This development shows the high levels of investor confidence in London’s status as a global city following our decision to leave the European Union.

Parry said: "1 Undershaft represents the very best of British architecture and will set new standards for the City in terms of comfort, quality and environmental sustainability.

"It is a vote of confidence in the City of London. 1 Undershaft will crown the cluster of tall buildings and will be a tower London can be truly proud of. This is a really exciting opportunity for Londoners and the team behind 1 Undershaft are thrilled to get started on the next phase of the project.”

1 Undershaft: the figures

  • It will house roughly 10,000 City workers
  • The block will be 304.94m tall
  • It will provide 130,000 square feet (sq ft) of office space
  • In addition, there will be 2,000 sq ft of retail space
  • There will be 150 showers in the building
  • It will have 1,600 cycle spaces

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