A new skyscraper could loom over London if plans for the redevelopment of a site next to the old NatWest Tower go ahead.

CGI render of the new tower (c) Arney Fender Katsalidis

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.

Rooftop viewing gallery concept (c) Arney Fender Katsalidis

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.

CGI render of the new tower (c) Arney Fender Katsalidis


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  1. Peter Gresswell says:

    It’s time to stop this destruction of our city.

  2. Chris Bedford says:

    Another rooftop viewing gallery from which you can presumably look across to the next rooftop viewing gallery and not much else.

    • Chris Rogers says:

      Better that than eating at the Gherkin – about a third of the lovely view south that the entire restaurant was designed to show off is now blocked.

  3. Bruce says:

    I think these landmark developments have a beauty of their own and the constantly changing face of London is a large part of its charm.

  4. Jordan D says:

    Get it built. Completely agree with Bruce above.

  5. bd says:

    This doesn’t make sense. In order to get planning permission we now have to have a building 58 story’s high, when it will fit into a 27 stories, which would block a lot of light at ground level. Which means the they must be designing a tower with a taipered construction if it wil be 58 floors. If they don’t care about anything but making money they won’t care about walking around in a Duskie sidewalks, and save the rest of the people who live here having to look at another glass turd. Let them have a dank and squote brick and save the majority of us the eye sores. Even better put it underground (many skyscrapers in US go 10 or more floors down eg old World Trade Centre, NYC) and put a park in, the top of, the footprint.

    • T says:

      Surprised that there is still thought to be demand for all this extra office space. Hasn’t home working changed the business case at all??

  6. Noam o says:

    Toxic? You need a dictionary or need to grow up and use these metaphors less sporadically

  7. JP says:

    Oh good another forest in the sky as a sop to the green lobby to soften the blow and ease planning permission.
    The bumph that comes with these alleged public consultations never ceases to amaze: each time raising / lowering the bar of hot air and incredulity.
    Case in point being the laughable title next to an image of the admittedly pretty rooftop garden. “Immerse in nature” it suggests.
    Well, at least they’re trying, I suppose, but credit the public with a modicum of intelligence Mr. developer please!

  8. Alp says:

    These ugly and (yes) TOXIC skyscrapers are just turning London to an ordinary city, where attraction is only skin deep. London history is confined to inside these monsters(you can see some of old historic London walls/gates inside these concrete structures). If you need extra office space, at least build them in not so historic areas or even better if built in some run down areas. At least the Canary Wharf area was better choise and looks like a dedicated area but “City” ….come off it

  9. Lizebeth says:

    Lots of controversy among your readers! I agree with those who say we do not need yet another hideous, looming tower block. There is more than enough office space in the City at present, as more and more are working from home. They put forth the argument of public access, but this is nonsense. What people need is open and green space, and low-rise buildings. Soon no one will be able to walk through the City of London without feeling menaced by towers. Everywhere I look there are construction cranes, but is there really a need for so much new building?
    It brings profit to developers, but in the end, no benefit to London as it lives now.

    Many of the residential towers are mostly empty as well, and will probably never be fully occupied, as their owners don’t even live here.

    The real issue is: shall we let London be turned into Generic City of (at least partially empty) glass boxes?

  10. Archie wells says:

    I wonder when the Europe trade centre is going to to built in London which is supposed to be the the uk tallest building at 500 metres and Europe’s tallest building and the 11th tallest building in the world

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