The next wave of London skyscrapers could soon be under way, after plans to build the “Gotham City” tower on Leadenhall Street were approved yesterday.
The City of London Corporation has granted permission to develop the building, together with the complete office complex of which it forms a part.
The 156m tower will form the focal point for the site. Facing out onto Leadenhall Street, it will provide 890,000 sq ft of office space over thirty-four storeys and is expected to cost developers Henderson Global Investors around £390m to build.
No sooner had initial plans for the tower been revealed, than – in true London skyscraper tradition – it had begun earning nicknames, including the “Toast Rack” and “Gotham City”. The latter name has proven to be the most popular so far, having been adopted by Make, the architects behind the site.
The tower will form part of a larger office complex, providing a total of 1.3m sq ft of office space. The complex will be bounded by Leadenhall Street, Billiter Street, Fenchurch Street and Fenchurch Buildings, with a location which places it firmly at the heart of the City of London’s skyscraper building boom.
Five office buildings are to be demolished to make way for the new complex. However, a further Grade II listed building at 19-21 Billiter Street is to be retained and incorporated into the site. These plans have won the approval of English Heritage which believes that the development has the potential to “enhance the significance of the listed building” rather than detract from it.
Gotham City will join the cluster of skyscrapers which have been dramatically reshaping the skyline of this part of the City over the last decade. The finished site will have views of the Gherkin and the Cheesegrater (aka the Leadenhall Building) which is situated almost directly opposite the construction site.
However, there is no start date just yet for London’s newest skyscraper. The developer plans to wait to secure tenants for at least 300,000 sq ft of the building before beginning work. As a result, current timelines show that the sky-high structure won’t be completed until 2019 at the earliest.
Is Gotham City the first in a new wave of skyscraper building? How will it compare with other skyscrapers such as the Walkie-Talkie, the Cheesegrater and the Shard?