One Undershaft: Designs unveiled for skyscraper set to rival The Shard as London's joint tallest building

New plans have been submitted for the proposed skyscraper (Dbox for Eric Parry Architects)
New plans have been submitted for the proposed skyscraper (Dbox for Eric Parry Architects)

Developers have submitted updated plans for a City skyscraper as tall as the Shard, with a public “podium garden” and London’s highest viewing platform.

The proposed tower, One Undershaft, initially received planning approval in 2016, but Singapore developer Perennial Group and development manager Stanhope needed to submit a new application having made changes to reflect the decline in office work after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under the new plans, the building is slightly taller, making it London's joint-highest building at 309.6 metres, and has a new stepped design instead of the previous rectangular shape.

In an effort to boost the amount of public space in the development, it also includes an “elevated podium garden” on the 11th floor, plus restaurants and “flexible cultural spaces” in the surrounding floors. At the top will be London’s highest public viewing gallery, and two floors of “education spaces” curated by the Museum of London.

 (Dbox for Eric Parry Architects)
(Dbox for Eric Parry Architects)

“The proposal includes extensive publicly accessible spaces, creating a building that is truly open and accessible to all, addressing the City of London ambitions to create a ‘Destination City’,” the planning application says.

The proposed tower had been nicknamed The Trellis for the distinct "cross-bracing" pattern on the outside of the building.

But the new application confirms the building will no longer have that pattern, leaving it in search of a nickname to match City neighbours like The Gherkin, The Cheesegrater and The Walkie Talkie.

One Undershaft is expected to be finished in 2029. It will be the arguably the most significant project in a wave of new skyscrapers in the City’s “Eastern Cluster”, which already includes 11 buildings 100m high or taller, with plans in the pipeline for at least 10 more.

 (Dbox for Eric Parry Architects)
(Dbox for Eric Parry Architects)

Eric Parry Architects, who are behind the plans, said they had taken an opportunity to “reconsider their approach” from earlier plans in response to feedback.

“The new proposals deliver a more wellbeing-led commercial space, with high-quality external spaces, public open spaces, improved sustainability and a cultural and creative offer,” it said.

In a statement, the firm said: “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.

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