The architect Eric Parry has unveiled his plans for what will be the tallest building in the City of London. Measuring 309.6 metres 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 metres 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 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 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.