A skyscraper almost as tall as the Shard is to be added to the central London skyline after the 73-storey building was given planning approval.
Known as 1 Undershaft, the site’s address in London’s financial district, and nicknamed the Trellis, it will be the second-tallest building in western Europe, after the Shard, at more than 300 metres.
Designed by the architect Eric Parry for Singaporean developers Aroland Holdings, the building will have a free public viewing gallery and what is claimed to be London’s highest restaurant.
The skyscraper is to be built on the site of the Aviva Tower, which will be demolished, and is due to be completed at some point in the 2020s, as tenants remain in the building currently standing on the site.
© Provided by Guardian News View of entrance from the east. The entrance to the Trellis from the east. Photograph: © DBOX for Eric Parry Architects
The Museum of London is working with the developers on the possibility of installing an exhibition at the top of the building with interactive learning spaces for schools and other educational groups.
It will overlook other landmarks such as the Cheesegrater (122 Leadenhall Street) and the Gherkin (30 St Mary Axe) in the City of London.
The original design was 309.6m, the same size of the Shard according to some methodologies, but this was reduced because of restrictions relating to London’s airspace. When he unveiled the design a year ago, Parry said: “I wanted to do something calm.”
© Provided by Guardian News The Shard skyscraper at sunset. The Shard, located on the South Bank of the river Thames, at sunset. Photograph: Allan Baxter/Getty
After planning permissions was confirmed on Monday, he said: “It is a vote of confidence in the City of London; 1 Undershaft will crown the cluster of tall buildings and will be a tower London can be truly proud of.”
Approval was granted by the planning and transport committee of the City of London Corporation, which said the move was a sign that the Brexit vote had not dampened interest in construction in the capital.
Chris Hayward, the chairman of the committee, said: “This development shows the high levels of investor confidence in London’s status as a global city following our decision to leave the European Union.
“I believe this building will play an important part in increasing London’s attraction as the world’s leading financial centre.”
© Provided by Guardian News The proposed building, next to the so-called Cheesegrater and the Gherkin skyscrapers. The proposed building next to the Cheesegrater and Gherkin skyscrapers. Photograph: © DBOX for Eric Parry Architects
The committee approved the development by 19 to two. The building will provide 130,000 sq m of office space and 2,000 sq m of retail space, and is expected to have room for 10,000 workers.
It will usurp the new development at 22 Bishopsgate, on the site of a previously planned building known as the Pinnacle or “Helter Skelter”, in terms of height.
In the days before the EU referendum in June, the French-owned fund management group that had been developing the 22 Bishopsgate site warned it might pull out in the event of a Brexit vote, but in October, the company committed to press on with the 278m building, which also received formal planning approval on Monday.