In December, we covered a proposed 73-storey tower in the heart of London. That project took a step forward today, as the planning application has now been submitted by Aroland Holdings Limited for 1 Undershaft, set to become the tallest building in the historic financial centre known as the City of London. 

1 Undershaft, image via DBOX

To replace St. Helen's Tower, a 23-storey office building, the new structure will include a public square and an "elevated reception lobby" allowing the public to walk underneath part of the tower. The public square will provide a sightline between two places of worship, St Andrew Undershaft and St Helen’s Bishopsgate. A 2,050-square-metre retail component situated in the basement and accessible via the square will consist of restaurants, cafes, and shops. For those commuting to work on two wheels, 1,664 bicycle parking spaces will be provided. 

1 Undershaft, image via DBOX

The 90,000-square-metre tower will be crowned by London's highest viewing gallery and restaurant as well as an education centre with two classrooms. The observation area will be served by its own dedicated elevators. The external diagrid bracing envisioned by Eric Parry Architects limits the need for internal columns, freeing up space for flexible office use. 

1 Undershaft, image via DBOX

1 Undershaft is said to rise 309.6 metres, matching the spire of London's current tallest building, The Shard. However, since this height of 1 Undershaft is measured from sea level, and the plot it sits on is slightly higher in elevation than The Shard's site across the River Thames, the physical structure will be slightly shorter in height. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat pegs 1 Undershaft at 294.6 metres. It will take top spot for buildings located in the City of London quite handily though, surpassing the 230-metre Heron Tower when it is completed. A decision on the application is expected by this summer. 

St. Helen's Tower, image retrieved from Google Street View

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Related Companies:  Aroland Holdings Limited, Eric Parry Architects