Dezeen Magazine

Eric Parry Architects unveils tallest tower in City of London

Eric Parry Architects has unveiled designs for 1 Undershaft, a 73-storey tower that will be the tallest building in London's financial district.

The rectangular tower, which will be the second tallest in London after The Shard, has been commissioned by Singapore property developers Aroland Holdings.

Containing 90,000 square metres of internal space, it will sit amongst a cluster of skyscrapers including the Cheesegrater and the forthcoming 22 Bishopsgate tower in the City of London, the city's financial district.

1 Undershaft skyscraper by Eric Parry Architects

The building will be capped by what the developers claim will be the highest free public viewing gallery in London, while the ground level will feature a public square. The lobby will be elevated to allow the public to walk through the building at street level while the basement will contain 1,800 square metres of shops and restaurants.

"It will be a building where the public are put first with a new public square at its base and the capital’s tallest free public viewing gallery at its top," said Eric Parry.

“Most skyscrapers are used Monday to Friday but 1 Undershaft will be used seven days a week, with the public able to enjoy the new public square, viewing platform and restaurant every day."

Externally, the gently tapering building features a diamond pattern of bronze struts. This is echoed in the raised entrance lobby, which is reached by a pair of crisscrossing escalators.

When complete, the building will accommodate 10,000 workers and will feature 1,500 bicycle parking spaces.

1 Undershaft skyscraper by Eric Parry Architects

At 294.6 metres tall, the skyscraper will be 114.6 metres higher than the nearby 30 St Mary Axe building – otherwise known as The Gherkin – by Foster + Partners.

It will 64.6 metres taller than Heron Tower, which is currently the tallest in the City, and is 13 stories higher than PLP Architecture's proposed 22 Bishopsgate building, which won planning permission last month.

1 Undershaft skyscraper by Eric Parry Architects

The architects intend to submit a planning application to the City of London in 2016.

Other recently unveiled skyscraper plans for London include Will Alsop's south London tower with a "highly unusual silhouette", and Renzo Piano's designs for a 224-metre cylindrical building at Paddington Station.

Eric Parry, 63 is based in London and has worked on a wide range of modest-sized projects including office, cultural and residential buildings. 1 Undershaft is his first major skyscraper project.

Images by DBOX for Eric Parry Architects.