London's ever-growing city centre of glass-walled skyscrapers is about to become even denser. A development team consisting of AXA Investment Managers and Lipton Rogers is building a 62-storey answer to the shortage of office space in the global city on the site of the former Pinnacle development. The Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed predecessor proposal halted construction shortly after project works commenced, leaving the site an unfinished eyesore in the middle of the city.
The PLP Architecture-designed successor is set to climb 278 metres into the air at 22 Bishopsgate, roughly ten metres shorter than the previous scheme. It boasts a completely new appearance — the whimsical sweeping structure has been replaced with simpler massing that maximizes floor space flexibility. Three-metre-high ceilings and full-height windows permit an abundant supply of natural light, and three six-metre-high common areas spread along the vertical axis of the tower provide tenants with a place to intermingle.
Adjacent to the project's retail component, ground-level interior artwork will be visible from the street. The top of the building, normally reserved for mechanical penthouses, will be similarly activated. A public viewing gallery, open and free to everyone, will captivate visitors with panoramic views of London's historic cityscape.
The fallout from the Brexit vote has raised some new concerns about the future of the project. Images from the site show the concrete core climbing, and while AXA says they are committed to the development, they are also "considering options." Investors are hoping the project doesn't meet the same fate as the previous proposal, especially so soon after the exciting resumption of activity on the formerly stagnant site. If construction progresses smoothly, tenants will begin moving into the complex in early 2019.
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