A decision on planning permission for what would be the City’s tallest building is expected soon from the City of London Corporation.
If it is approved, the tower at 1 Undershaft will be situated at the heart of the City’s cluster of skyscrapers, slotting between the Leadenhall Building and 30 St Mary Axe – known to most as the Cheesegrater and the Gherkin.
London-headquartered Eric Parry Architects designed the building, with distinctive external bracing, for Singaporean developers Aroland Holdings.
The 73-storey tower will be marginally shorter than the Shard on the south side of the river Thames. 1 Undershaft will measure 304.94m after submitting plans reduced in height by 5m, compared to the Shard’s height of 306m. The Shard is currently the tallest building in Western Europe.
However, the simple box shape of 1 Undershaft will mean that it provides significantly more office space than the Shard. The developers will have approximately 90,000sqm for their investment, whereas the tapered Shard only offers around 54,000sqm of office space, as well as restaurants and an 18,000sqm hotel.
The tower will feature a public viewing gallery at its summit – similar to those found at the top of the so-called Walkie Talkie and the Shard. Like the former (and unlike the latter, at £25) the gallery is planned to be free to access for the public. It could also house Britain's highest museum.
A sunken square at the building’s foot will be open to the public, as well as a walkway with retail spaces under the tower.