Plans to revamp an existing office block next to St Paul’s tube station could see a large roof garden open to the public added to the top. The current building, the former BT headoffice was built in the early 1980s was sold to private equity investors Orion Capital Managers for £210 million, with BT moving out in 2022.

The new owners of the building have now outlined their plans to revamp it. The most dramatic visual change will be green – the plan will see almost every level surface covered in plants.

They will also open up the ground floor for retail stores as opposed to the current solid facade and create an indoor street and food hall running through the middle of the building.

One of the changes required is that the building currently breaches the City of London Corporation’s policy on “St Paul’s Heights” and therefore restricts local views of the Cathedral. They plan to effectively slice a corner off the building so that it comes into compliance with current regulations, which is also why one side of the building will be more glass and grass than the current wall of stone.

However, the one change that turns the office into something more people will be interested in is the addition of the roof terrace. It will come with public access stairs with views of St Paul’s, planting, green wall and seating, and of course, a restaurant.

The details of the public access, and any restrictions that could be applied will be outlined in the planning application due later in the spring.

If it goes ahead, then the roof terrace could open in 2024.


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  1. Claire Milne says:

    Thanks for this, Ian – of special interest to me as I was among the original occupants of the building when it first opened in 1984. Please keep us in the picture as it develops! And when you get time, the earlier history of the site as the Central Telegraph Office, followed by many empty years would also be of interest. My first memory of the site (as of many other London bomb sites) is of a profusion of wild flowers.

  2. Chris Rogers says:

    Any info on the architects? There is no planning app lodged yet as you say and the developer’s website isn’t working.

    Re the St Paul’s Heights bit; the barrel vaulted roof currently is raised by one storey about the rest of the building on one corner, so must be that.

    Oddly for a building occupied since completion by one of the country’s biggest companies, it’s never been accessible to the public or even appeared much on TV (inside I mean).

  3. Julie Lewis says:

    Perhaps it should be made unto a hospital for the City in this climate and considering
    Moorfields eye hospital is just down the road. Would be more appropriate

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