City of London approves new ‘green’ tower showing vote of confidence in Square Mile

70 Gracechurch St, Gracechurch Street Approach ©Pixelflakes

The City of London Corporation today (16 February 2021) approved another tall building development, showing a significant vote of confidence in the future of the Square Mile and a strong start to 2021.

Developers Tenacity, who last month received planning permission for a 30-storey development at 55 Gracechurch Street, have now also been awarded permission for a second tower at nearby 70 Gracechurch Street.

The newly approved scheme stands at 33-storeys above ground floor and offers substantial benefits to the public realm including a more than fivefold increase on publicly accessible space when compared with the existing site. This uplift in public realm is possible due to an innovative retractable vehicular lift which makes efficient use of space, transforming into public realm during the day, and some existing footpaths will also be widened.

The high-quality design by award-winning architects Kohn Pederson Fox (KPF) is targeting a BREEAM rating of ‘Outstanding’ and includes integrated urban greening through living roofs, terrace planting and a green wall in Ship Tavern Passage. These measures will help to mitigate air and noise pollution, absorb carbon, improve biodiversity and reduce rainwater run-off.

In line with the City Corporation’s Transport Strategy, the development promotes walking and cycling with a new direct pedestrian link to the historic Leadenhall Market to be established and more than 1,000 long stay and short stay cycle parking spaces added – including space for three cargo cycles.

An inclusive public gallery and winter garden at levels 29 and 30 will offer views across London and will be made available at no cost to the City’s residents, workers and visitors.

Chair of the Planning and Transportation Committee at the City of London Corporation, Alastair Moss, said:

“This sustainable and energy-efficient development provides a significant increase in prime City office floorspace, which will be vitally important for the workers and businesses returning to a newly-revived City after the current restrictions are eased.

“Comprising of three staggered tower elements, the development creates a unique and dynamic silhouette, without dominating the City skyline, and it showcases sustainability measures to promote health and wellbeing.

“The scheme aspires to become a workplace destination and it embraces post-pandemic trends such as natural ventilation and generous external terraces.

“Significant steps have been taken to enliven the pedestrian flow in the area which will further reveal and establish the historic Leadenhall Market as a world leading open air retail space for all.”

Founder and CEO of Tenacity, Patrick Wong, said:

“70 Gracechurch Street will lead the way for a new generation of office led buildings in the City that reflect the changing needs and expectations of occupiers and visitors. Our proposals put the health and wellbeing of occupants at its heart, while also fundamentally transforming the public realm and visitor experience for citygoers of all types.

“Our proposals reflect the City Corporation’s 24/7 vision for the City, while also allowing us to make the most of the site’s unique location as a gateway into Leadenhall Market.

“We have worked closely with the City throughout the last number of years on both our projects and share their ambitious and progressive vision for the City and look forward to playing a part in shaping that future.”

The development for 70 Gracechurch Street includes more than 72,000sqm of flexible office floorspace, more than 1,800 sqm of flexible retail space and more than 1,500sqm of public access space.


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