Eric Parry Architects' One Undershaft skyscraper redesigned to be UK's joint-tallest building


Architecture studio Eric Parry Architects has updated its plans for the One Undershaft skyscraper in the City of London, increasing its height to make it the UK’s joint tallest building.

The studio recently submitted a planning submission to update the design and slightly increase the height of the planned building, which was approved to be built in 2016.

The updated plans would increase the skyscraper’s height making it, by one metric, the joint-tallest building in the UK. It will be increased from 304.94 metres Above Ordnance Datum (AOD) – a level used for mapping – to 309.6 metres AOD.

The design of One Undershaft has been update with its height increased

This would make the building designed by Eric Parry Architects the same height as the Shard, which is the UK’s current tallest building and also stands at 309.6 metres AOD.

The height of both buildings is determined by a Civil Aviation Authority safety policy that restricts the height of buildings in central London to 309.6 metres AOD.

If built, One Undershaft’s building height will be 294.6 metres compared to the Shard’s height of 309.6 metres.

London skyscraper
The updated skyscraper has a stepped form

According to planning documents the proposed skyscraper, which is set to be built between the Cheesegrater skyscraper by RSHP and the Gherkin by Foster + Partners, has been increased by one floor to make it 74 storeys.

Along with the increase in height, the building’s design has been substantially updated. Its shape has been updated to create a stepped form with the addition of two outdoor, planted terraces, while its distinctive cross bracing removed from the exterior facades.

At ground level, the entrance has also been altered substantially with the addition of a cantilevered canopy.

According to the development team, the changes to the design have been made to adapt to respond “to post pandemic markets and user demands”.

Entrance of One Underhaft
The facades and entrance have also been updated

The building is planned to contain 160,000 square metres of offices along with a restaurant and cultural spaces on the 10th floor.

It will be topped by a two-storey viewing gallery with 360-degree views across the city and educational galleries that are planned to be curated by the Museum of London.

Eric Parry Architects founder Eric Parry stated that the redesign would allow for a more sustainable building, with the terraces contributing to greening the city.

“The new scheme will still be the tallest in the city cluster and retains the upper floors for educational and public access through a collaboration with the Museum of London,” he said in a statement on the studio’s website.

“The revised proposals will enable us to deliver a more sustainable building with enhanced urban greening.”

One Undershaft is the latest in a series of skyscrapers built in the City of London. These include the Scalpel by KPF and the Can of Ham by Foggo Associates, which are both located near the proposed skyscraper.

The renders are by DBOX.



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