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.