They’re popping up like mushrooms, as another “sky garden” gets planning approval for the City of London.

This one is however right next to the River Thames and London Bridge, so will offer a somewhat different perspective over London from 120 Fenchurch Street or “the” Sky Garden just down the road at 20 Fenchurch Street.

When completed, the new building at Seal Lane will offer a publicly accessible roof garden on the 12th floor and a restaurant on the 11th floor.

The sky garden will occupy about three-quarters of the roof space, with the rest given over to roof-top plant equipment, which will be away from the riverside of the building.

When completed, the building will double the office space of the current building on the site, to provide 16,084 sq m of office space, as well as more than 300 cycle parking spaces, basement showers, terraces for office workers on levels 9 and 10, ground-floor retail space, a green wall with cascading plants, and a public viewing gallery with a dedicated lift.

Situated at a prominent point on the north bank of the Thames, Seal House will offer views towards Tower Bridge to the east, Southwark Cathedral and Borough to the south, and St Paul’s Cathedral and the City’s skyscraper district to the north.

The roof garden will be open all year round, seven days a week, and will be able to accommodate up to 200 members of the public at any one time.

The draft ‘City Plan 2036’ development guidance will encourage even more inclusive and environmentally friendly development over the next two decades, with policies requiring all new developments to include a greening element.

Half of the 14 upcoming tall-building developments due to be completed by 2026 will have free public viewing galleries and terraces in one district. Give it a few decades and at this rate, you could well end up walking across the City through a network of interconnected “pedways” linking all the sky gardens together.

Images from the planning application.


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  1. JP says:

    Not a pretty building replacing not a pretty building and it’s twice the size. Apparently it’s the result of a ten-year to and fro ballet with the developer, planners and the fishmongers’ hall next door. Unfortunately, in my opinion it pays lip service to the surrounding architecture as is all too familiar nowadays. A greenish roof is de-rigeur and obviously to be welcomed. Nevertheless as a Luddite carbuncle bemoaning traditionalist it doesn’t float my boat. It’s inoffensive yet blocky compared with what could have been attempted I suppose. I do long for the day, just the one, once, dare I ask, when something honestly modern manages to slide in to a similar historic river-side, bridge-neighbouring, much-photographed site and seamlessly continues the dance “going forward.”

  2. HENRY JOHNSON says:

    If you want to see a truly bland new building on an impressive riverside site , you need look no further than the new Riverside Studios building at Hammersmith Bridge

    A true temple to Mammon but one not worth worshipping .

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