One Undershaft: City of London's tallest skyscraper will offer free public access to capital's skyline

Plans to build the tallest skyscraper in the City of London have been unveiled by Eric Parry Architects, who say it will feature the UK’s highest free public viewing gallery.

At a height of 309.6m (1,000ft), Parry’s commercial tower, named 1 Undershaft, will be as tall as its Renzo Piano-designed neighbour The Shard – currently the tallest building in western Europe. It will be located in the heart of the capital's financial district, between Norman Foster's Gherkin and the Cheesegrater tower by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.

The design envisions large areas of public space at both the top and bottom of the skyscraper. A new public square will be created at the base, while the top floors will feature educational, cultural and performance space in addition to the gallery and London's highest restaurant, which will seat 200 people. These facilities will be accessed by a direct lift that takes members of the public to the top floors of the building for free, seven days a week.

Visitors to the top-floor viewing gallery will be able to see as far as 62km (38 miles) into the horizon. An interactive attraction, likely to be operated by a major London museum, will be created here to provide information about the growth and history of the capital.

The design for 1 Undershaft – commissioned by Singapore-based Aroland Holdings – visualises a simple square-shaped tower featuring huge red cross braces, white louvre cladding and special fins to reduce solar glare and keep the building cool. In total, the structure will provide more than 90,000sq m (968,750sq ft) of net internal area.

Much of this will be occupied by offices, but the architects said there will be plenty of room for other leisure components such as gyms and fitness facilities. Storage for 1,500 bikes will be included to promote active commuting for people working in the tower.

“The building represents the very best of British architecture something we hope Londoners will be very proud of,” said studio principal Eric Parry.

“It will be a building where the public are put first, reconnecting them with the city’s tall building cluster, becoming the jewel in the crown of the City of London.”

Parry’s proposal for the square at the base of the tower will be realised by elevating the building’s reception lobby, creating an open space below the skyscraper itself for members of the public to walk under. In the winter there are plans for ice rinks be installed, while an open-air cinema and multi-use events space are being considered for the summer months.

The designers plan to demolish the 28-storey St Helens building, which is currently located on the site, but will retain its basement. This will be transformed into a 1,800sqm (19,300sq ft) retail area featuring new restaurants, cafes, and shops.

A planning application for the project will be submitted to the City of London in the New Year, with a final decision expected by Q2 2016. If the plans are given the green light, it will take 18 months to demolish the existing tower and up to five years to build the new one.

Aroland Holdings are working with planning consultants DP9, who have worked on the huge regeneration of Battersea Power Station, and engineering advisors WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff.

A budget for the project has not yet been released.

Related stories
10 Nov 2015

Can design inspire romance? Bompas & Parr aim to find out with winter pop-up at The Shard

20 Oct 2015

Foster + Partners' Battersea Power Station hotel to offer London vista from rooftop infinity pool

18 Sep 2015

Developer Bouygues to build Foster and Gehry creations for Battersea Power Station

11 Jun 2015

Fearne Cotton launches Shard's new sky garden attraction

11 Nov 2014

London's Gherkin sold for £700m

21 Mar 2014

London's Shard records healthy profit one year on from opening as a tourist attraction

26 Oct 2012

Details of London's tallest attraction revealed

Plans to build the tallest skyscraper in the City of London have been unveiled by Eric Parry Architects, who say it will feature the UK’s highest free public viewing gallery. At a height of 309.6m (1,000ft), Parry’s commercial tower, named 1 Undershaft, will be as tall as its Renzo Piano-designed neighbour The Shard – currently the tallest building in western Europe. It will be located in the heart of the
At 309.6m tall, the skyscraper be as tall as near-neighbour The Shard, currently the UK's tallest building / Eric Parry Architects
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7773     
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7773     
company profile
Company profile: bbspa_Group
In an extremely competitive world where clients have ever increasing demands, creating a successful wellness and spa project is more and more complex. To help you differentiate yourself and protect your investments, we founded bbspa_Group, a global consulting company dedicated to wellness and spa projects, which puts the focus on your success.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
The Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace opened last year
"A vast yet understated investment in cultural institutions and tourist infrastructure is taking place without lavish budgets, starchitects or international fanfare"

The amazing projects transforming Canada’s second city

The Han Show Theatre
Ray Winkler (left) and Cristina Garcia (right)
"Mark definitely wasn’t a minimal architect – his designs were outrageous, big, splashy, noisy and extravagant"

The Wuhan Movie Theme Park and Han Show Theatre

Spa and wellness specialist Alberto Apostoli was responsible for the interiors
"Wellness embraces the entire holiday experience"

The design of the newly-opened Lefay Resort and Spa Dolomitti in Italy aims to celebrate and protect its spectacular surroundings

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
The Upper House, Hong Kong was André Fu’s first hotel project
Fu studied at the University of Cambridge in the UK. He set up his practice in 2000
"I've done 80 interviews in the past 60 days"

The Hong Kong-based designer on his transportative year

Barking Riverside will see 10,800 homes built on London’s biggest brownfield site by the River Thames
"The Healthy New Towns initiative aims to design out ‘obesogenic environments’ and design in health and wellbeing"

The UK government is building 10 new towns based on health, with wellbeing incorporated from the ground up. Stu Robarts investigates

"With 3D printing we can actually imitate life’s structures, but we need to get it right and use a small material palette. In the natural world there are only about five common materials that are used over and over again"

Bionic leaves, breathable metals and selfgrowing bricks... Biomimicry in architecture has come a long way. Christopher DeWolf takes a look at the latest advances

The third floor features the interval training space and acts as a buffer between the noisy club and quiet hotel
DMAC’s Dwayne MacEwen
"The hotel concept came late in the game, but it was an inspired idea"

The newly renovated Chicago Midtown Athletic Club features a boutique hotel, a pool-come-ice rink and spaces designed by Venus Williams

Minimalist architect Siza Vieira designed both spas, but the one at Vidago Palace has more of a softer, nurturing feel
Paula Marques, Unicer representative and GM of Vidago
"We felt a great sense of social responsibility when we acquired the land, and so we undertook a huge project in order to rebuild these two 100-year-old parks Paula Marques, Unicer representative and GM of Vidago"

How Portugal’s biggest brewer enlisted the help of one of the country’s best known architects to turn two historic nature parks into thermal spa and nature destinations

cladkit product news
Codelocks develops new glass door smart lock
The new lock model allows facilities and building managers to create and manage access via an app or online portal
Megan Whitby
Codelocks has launched its first glass door smart lock to bring intelligent access control to modern spa, leisure, fitness and ...
Alberto Apostoli designs tech-forward Wellness Therapy furniture collection for Varaschin
The furniture collection draws on absolute geometries, pure lines, neutral colours and strong references to nature
Megan Whitby
Furniture manufacturer Varaschin has unveiled the new Wellness Therapy range, designed by Italian spa and wellness architect and designer Alberto ...
Mather & Co and ITV unite to create Coronation Street Experience
Mather & Co has transformed the visitor centre into the ultimate haven for ardent Coronation Street viewers
Magali Robathan
Experience designers, Mather & Co, have orchestrated a remarkable collaboration with ITV to unveil the new Coronation Street Experience, a ...
cladkit product news
Eden project uses drones to spell out climate change warning
Magali Robathan
Almost 300 drones were used to signal an environmental message above the Eden Project’s biomes, during the UN Climate Change ...
Siminetti unveils iridescent decorative panelling range inspired by plants
The Clematis design
Megan Whitby
The Botanicals is Siminetti’s newest Mother of Pearl decorative panelling collection, inspired by the distinctive patterns found in botany and ...
Koto Design introduces wood-fired hot tub
Koto is known for crafting modular, energy-neutral cabins and homes
Katie Barnes
A striking wood-fired hot tub has been unveiled by Koto, an architecture and design studio which has a passion for ...
cladkit product news
Fabio Alemanno Design uses elegant semi-precious stones to create memorable spa experiences
Alemanno believes the stones are well-placed in the spa environment thanks to their capacity to positively support physical and mental health
Megan Whitby
Fabio Alemanno Design has expanded its collection with semi-precious stones to enhance spas, wellness facilities, hotels and private residences. The ...
Jaffe Holden helps bring Academy Museum of Motion Pictures alive
Jaffe Holden provided architectural acoustics for the Academy Museum
Magali Robathan
Acoustical consulting firm Jaffe Holden provided architectural acoustics and audio/video design services for the recently opened Academy Museum of Motion ...
Alberto Apostoli and Newform collaborate to launch the A.Zeta showerhead
The showerhead offers two modes; rainfall or waterfall
Megan Whitby
Italian architect Alberto Apostoli has renewed his partnership with Newform – an Italian wellness company – and designed A.Zeta. A.Zeta ...
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates