A new skyscraper could loom over London if plans for the redevelopment of a site next to the old NatWest Tower go ahead.
The site is 55 Bishopsgate, currently occupied by a reasonably low rise, by City standards office block that’s just 7 storeys high and rows of shops at the ground floor on either side of the main entrance to the offices.
The £600 million development is being put forward by Schroder Real Estate, who bought the existing building on the site in 2016 for £187 million. The current building has just under 200,000 sq ft of office space, and the replacement 58-storey high tower would come with 785,000 sq ft of office space.
One of the key aspects of the tower’s design is that it will have a far smaller central concrete core as the skin around the outside of the building will be partially load-bearing as well. The outer skin design is based, according to the architects Arney Fender Katsalidis, on a criss-cross leaf-like design which is based on a naturally occurring Fibonacci Leaf structure.
The outer skin won’t be sealed though, and will allow fresh air to be drawn into the building along with automatic sunblinds will, they say, reduce the need for air conditioning for the offices inside the tower.
As with most tall non-residential towers, the London planning guidance requires public access spaces, and here the top floor will be a mixed-use space that’s open to the public. Another rooftop viewing gallery.
The ground area though is more interesting as the building will be raised up on stilts, so that more of the ground level can be opened up as a covered public space with the skyscraper above. That creates a lot more space at the level that people will be walking past the tower in the City’s usually quite narrow pavements.
There’s a pre-planning consultation on the tower, and details are here.
If it goes ahead, then construction is expected to take around 5 years.