City of London’s tallest tower approved

28th November 2016

The City’s tallest proposed building at 1 Undershaft, EC3, has been approved by the City of London Corporation.

Aroland Holdings’ 73-storey tower was approved by 19-2 at the planning and transportation committee meeting this afternoon.

The building will have a total height of 1000.5 ft, making it the second tallest building in Western Europe, after the Shard.

The project will involve the demolition of the existing Aviva Tower and construction of a new elongated slim rectangular form known as the Trellis. 1 Undershaft will comprise 1.4m sq ft of offices and 21,527 sq ft of retail.

The shops and restaurants will be on the lower floors in an area equivalent to Broadgate Circle, EC2. A free public viewing gallery will be accessible to 400 people at the top of the building, with a restaurant on the floor below.

Lower Court will provide a separate entrance to the viewing gallery from the ground floor, to prevent congestion between visitors and office workers.

An arcade area extending to between 32.8 and 55.7m at ground level will allow pedestrian access under the building.

Some common councilmen criticised the Eric Parry Architects-designed building, with one comparing it to a “Conran Habitat square paper lamp from the late 1960s”. Henry Colthurst, who represents Lime Street ward, condemned the design for not being more imaginative, saying it missed the opportunity for a piazza in the centre of the City’s Eastern cluster, a place where “German bankers can practise their penalties, where French insurers can play petanque, Italians can sing arias and we British can sit down and chat and have our sandwiches, looking at the clouds above.”

However the City’s chief planning officer Annie Hampson praised the “exceptional quality” of the design and said it would meet 7% of the expected office demand up to 2026 for the City.

Some common councilmen criticised the Eric Parry Architects-designed building, with one comparing it to a “Conran Habitat square paper lamp from the late 1960s”. Henry Colthurst, who represents Lime Street ward, condemned the design for not being more imaginative, saying it missed the opportunity for a piazza in the centre of the City’s Eastern cluster, a place where “German bankers can practise their penalties, where French insurers can play petanque, Italians can sing arias and we British can sit down and chat and have our sandwiches, looking at the clouds above”.

However the City’s chief planning officer Annie Hampson praised the “exceptional quality” of the design and said it would meet 7% of the expected office demand up to 2026 for the City.

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