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City of London's 1 Undershaft project given the green light

Plans to build the City of London’s second tallest tower are set to go ahead after planning officers gave the scheme the green light.

1 Undershaft, which is now known as the Trellis, has been recommended for approval, with the decision to get a formal approval from the City of London Corporation’s planning and transport next week.

Eric Parry Architects submitted plans for the 73-storey tower skyscraper in February.

Measured from the ground, the office block will be 294.6 m tall – only a few metres shorter than Renzo Piano’s 306 m Shard across the river. Calculated from sea level the buildings are even closer in height, with the new tower standing at 309.6 m and the Shard at 312.7 m.

The scheme, next to Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ recently completed Cheesegrater building, will replace the so-called Aviva Tower – formerly the Commercial Union building – a 118 m-tall Miesian block by GMW dating from 1969.

Backed by Singapore-based Aroland Holdings, Eric Parry Architects’ 90,000 sq m proposal features external cross-bracing fins to reduce solar glare and an elevated reception lobby ‘allowing the public to walk freely beneath the skyscraper’.

The proposals, which went out to consultation in December, include a free public viewing gallery ’served by dedicated lifts’ and London’s highest public restaurant. The original designs for a new public square were revised in response to feedback from the public.

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