Building plans for the steel and glass titan at 22 Bishopsgate

Building plans for the proposed tower at 22 Bishopsgate were submitted for planning on Friday. The location, which was acquired earlier this year by a consortium of international investors led by AXA Real Estate, is the former site of a proposed helter skelter-shaped leviathan referred to as The Pinnacle. Work on The Pinnacle was halted in 2009 as a result of the financial crisis and the remnants of the already-built foundations and basements more closely resembled a stump.

The new proposed 62-storey skyscraper will be the Square Mile’s tallest building at 278m, radically transforming London’s skyline by acting as a core for the current scatter of individual towers, among them The Gherkin and The Cheesegrater. However, unlike these recent builds named for their distinctive profiles, the tower at 22 Bishopsgate will be a “quiet, elegant building, something that’s not too flamboyant,” according to developer Sir Stuart Lipton.

Once built, the tower will be able to accommodate approximately 12,000 people and up to 100 companies in its 32 acres of office space. The plans include space for a wealth of amenities, including cafés, food outlets, a medical centre, a library, a wellness suite and specialised sports facilities. The proposed skyscraper will also boast the capital’s highest viewing gallery, restaurant and bar, towering (no pun intended) over those offered by London’s tallest building, The Shard. These will be freely accessible by the public and served by dedicated elevators.

22 Bishopsgate will also be the first building in London to adopt the new Delos WELL Building Standard, which aims to support the health and wellbeing of occupants through the design of the building itself. The proposal includes “oversized floor-to-ceiling heights”, providing more window space and, consequently, more natural light and stunning views of the capital. The size and spatial design of the proposed floorplates, which are over 20,000 square feet on most levels, also mean that companies can organise and re-organise their workspace, allowing for greater agility and flexibility.

The design is the brainchild of PLP Architects, the London-based group whose architects also designed the Pinnacle as part of American firm KPF prior to its abortion. Led by founding partner Karen Cook, the skyscraper will be the City’s first tower to be designed by a woman.

Subject to the success of this planning application, development of the tower at 22 Bishopsgate could begin as early as the end of 2015.