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1 Undershaft, London's Second-Tallest Building, Gets Green Light

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1 Undershaft Building

The tallest skyscraper for the City of London was approved yesterday. London Corp’s planning and transport committee voted 19-2 in favour of allowing Singapore-based developer Aroland Holdings to build the 72-storey tower known as 1 Undershaft. City of London chairman Chris Hayward said that over the next 30 years, he expects we will need to deliver office space for more than 50,000 extra workers within the Square Mile, and this development is important in reaching that goal. “I believe this building will play an important part in increasing London’s attraction as the world’s leading financial centre.”

It will be the second-tallest building in Western Europe after the Shard. The existing Aviva tower will be demolished to make way for the new building. Aroland Holdings tapped Eric Parry Architects; in a paper published in the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Eric Parry says 1 Undershaft "responds to these two issues of the skyline and the street, reconciling urban complexities with a clear and ambitious public realm located at the top and base of the building."

1 Undershaft

There will be over an acre of plazas and gardens at ground level, while a viewing gallery will occupy the top. The gallery will provide 360-degree views of London and an education center large enough to accommodate two learning rooms for school classes to visit and engage with London.

Amenities include commuter-friendly showers, changing rooms and cycle storage as well as 21k SF of retail and nearly 13k SF of restaurant space. Natural light and fresh air will be emphasized, and it is designed with sustainability and efficiency at its helm, minimizing the waste of materials, energy and water throughout its lifetime.