The £1.5bn scheme, from Shard developer Sellar, Elizabeth Line operator MTR and Network Rail, is due to be submitted to the City of London Corporation by the end of March, in a bid to secure planning permission. The aim is to start construction work by mid-2025.
But early designs have been criticised by conservation groups and actor Griff Rhys Jones amid fears they will “trample” on Liverpool Street mainline station and its Victorian heritage and harm views of St Paul’s Cathedral.
The latest computer images show a transformed new station entrance on Bishopsgate – between the Eataly restaurant and the Wetherspoons’ Hamilton Hall pub – and give the first indication of the scale of the tower block on the City skyline. The pub would also be renovated.
The proposals, by Herzog & de Meuron, include a “publicly accessible roof garden and swimming pool”, which would be “heated by surplus heat from the offices”. There would also be a “padel court” – a hybrid tennis/squash court – and a rooftop café, both open to visitors.
The designs are said to have “evolved” following months of consultation and discussions with the City of London, heritage organisations and other stakeholders.
The 16-storey block would include 10 floors of office space topped by a six-storey hotel – the relocated Andaz hotel, which currently occupies the Grade II* former Great Eastern hotel. It would mean the total structure would be 21 storeys high as it would sit on top of the existing five-storey hotel.
The developers insist that the Grade II station’s Victorian train sheds “will not be touched” and are due to be restored separately by Network Rail. The developers would carry out £450m of capacity improvements to the mainline station.
Sellar chief executive James Sellar said: “Our proposals for a sustainably developed office, hotel and leisure scheme above the station will enable the £450 million vital station upgrades at no cost to passengers or the taxpayer.
“At Liverpool Street, we aim for this to be one of the greenest destinations in the Square Mile with significant new spaces for the public. Our plans give Hope Square outside the station a new civic grandeur, the roof garden will have a swimming pool and sports courts, which we want to be used by the entire community, including local schools, and there will be new public cultural spaces in the former Great Eastern Hotel.
“Our entire approach prioritises protecting and enhancing the heritage elements of both the Andaz hotel and of the station itself. The original Victorian railway sheds at Liverpool Street station will not be touched but will be celebrated by opening up new views to and through them.”
Robin Dobson, group property director at Network Rail, said: “Just as we have successfully delivered at London Bridge and Kings Cross, Liverpool Street has the potential to become a landmark seven-day-a-week destination.”