Plans have been unveiled for the City of London's tallest tower: a 300m tall office building to be called 1 Undershaft.
The skyscraper, designed by London's Eric Parry Architects, will be located at the center of cluster of towers in the capital's historic financial district. At 309.6m, it will eclipse the City's existing 21st century landmarks, known to Londoners as "the Cheesegrater" at 122 Leadenhall Street (224m) and "the Gherkin" at 30 St Mary Axe (180m).
The 73-floor structure has been commissioned by Singapore-based Aroland Holdings. Architect Eric Parry, 63, says its square-based design is intended to provide "quality office space that is desperately needed in the capital."
The architect and developers are also touting fresh views of the capital from the top and the base. At the summit, it will host a free public viewing gallery and restaurant, while the bottom of the tower will be raised 10m above ground to create new public space below.
"1 Undershaft represents the very best of British architecture in a premier location at the heart of London," says Parry. "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.
1 Undershaft will sit across the river from the capital's tallest building, the Renzo Piano designed building named the Shard, which opened in 2013.
Developers claim the Undershaft tower will rise to the exact same height in the London skyline as the Shard, 309.6m. But the new building will measure a few meters less from pavement to top, because its footprint sits slightly higher (compared to the standard baseline, set at sea level.)
The Shard will remain London's tallest building, and also the tallest in the European Union, but the Undershaft will become the tallest building in the historic center known as the City of London, and the tallest building north of the River.
A date for completion is not yet set, with reports so far saying that it will open within the next decade.