City of London's Tallest Building Will Be a Simple Work of Engineering

The architect Eric Parry has unveiled his plans for what will be the tallest building in the City of London. Measuring 309.6 meters in height, the building is a surprisingly simple structure, which wears its engineering design on its sleeve.

The building will be about the same height as The Shard, just across the Thames—which is as tall as building restrictions allow in central London. But the new structure, known as 1 Undershaft, will be the tallest in the City of London, the UK capital’s commercial heart.

The 73-storey building will be around 80 meters taller than the next largest building in the borough, which is 122 Leadenhall—AKA the Cheesegrater. 1 Undershaft is planned to house 10,000 workers across 90,000 square meters of office space.

The building itself is a simple-looking work of design and engineering. Unlike many of the more distinctive London buildings, such as the Walkie Talkie and Gherkin, the 1 Undershaft tower is a neat rectangular column—though it does actually taper subtly as it rises into the sky. Its solid, bronze cross-bracing is located on the outside of the building, too, and it also becomes more slender towards the tops of the building.

Taking a cue from New York’s Rockefeller Center, the skyscraper will actually be raised above the ground with a large public space beneath it, containing a sunken area of shops and restaurants.

The architects plan to submit a planning application for the new building to the City of London in 2016.

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