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Plans revealed for 1 Undershaft to become City of London's tallest tower

Eric Parry Architects has revealed plans for a 73-storey skyscraper which is set to become the tallest building in the City of London.

Measured from the ground, the office tower at No1 Undershaft will be 294.6m tall – only a few metres shorter than Sellar Property Group’s 306m-tall Shard across the river.

Calculated from sea level the buildings are even closer, with the new tower standing at 309.6m and the Shard at 312.7m, reports Construction News’ sister title Architects’ Journal.

The scheme, next to the recently completed Cheesegrater building, would replace the so-called Aviva Tower – formerly the Commercial Union building – a 118m-tall block designed by architects GMW.

Eric Parry Architects’ 90,000m² proposal is similarly minimalist but features external cross-bracing, ‘special fins’ to reduce solar glare and an elevated reception lobby allowing ‘the public to walk freely beneath the skyscraper’.

Architects’ Journal understands Eric Parry Architects saw off PLP and David Walker Architects to land the tower project, which is backed by Singapore-based Aroland Holdings Limited.

The proposals, which are on public display at the Bishopsgate Institute until Wednesday (9 December), include a new public square, a free public viewing gallery ‘served by dedicated lifts’ and London’s highest public restaurant.

Parry said the tower represented the ‘very best of British architecture’ adding: ”It will be a building where the public are put first with a new public square at its base and the capital’s tallest free public viewing gallery at its top.

“Most skyscrapers are used Monday to Friday but 1 Undershaft will be used seven days a week, with the public able to enjoy the new public square, viewing platform and restaurant every day.

DBOX EPA 1US Aerial Cluster

DBOX EPA 1US Aerial Cluster

”It will be the jewel in the crown of the City of London and something we hope Londoners will be very proud of.”

The company added: “[The tower] will create more of the quality office space that is desperately needed in the capital and will reconnect the city’s tall building cluster with the public.

“The City of London is proving it can yet again attract international investment in creating unique and important new buildings.”

The scheme is Eric Parry Architects’ first skyscraper project. The practice’s previous tallest scheme was the 19-storey 5 Aldermanbury Square scheme.

A planning application is expected to be submitted to the City of London in the New Year.

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