Architect Eric Parry has unveiled his plans for what will be the tallest building in the City of London. Measuring a height of 309.6 metres, it stands just 60 centimetres taller than the Shard. The proposed building is a surprisingly simple structure, which wears its engineering design on its sleeve.
The Shard 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, which is the commercial and banking heart of the capital.
The 73-floor building will be around 80 metres taller than the next largest building in the Square Mile, which is 122 Leadenhall, AKA the Cheesegrater. 1 Undershaft is planned to house 10,000 workers across 90,000 square metres 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 buildings such as 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. [FT]