East London is getting a new skyscraper

The City of London’s eastern fringe has been blessed – or cursed, depending on your tastes – with an iconic collection of towers which is still growing. Architects at Fletcher Priest have published their plans for a new office block which will rise 40 storeys into the clouds. To put that in perspective, Centre Point in Tottenham Court Road is 34 stories.

The tower will be located at 63 St Mary Axe, neighbouring the ‘Can of Ham’ and its gleaming glass façade. The location means that the building will be just on the edge of the City’s official limits. Just down the road is ‘the Gherkin’, one of London’s most recognisable buildings, which is getting its first makeover since it was built in 2004. 

Plans for the new building show the predictable supply of offices, alongside cultural and educational space. They also promise to carve out some much-needed green space for this very man-made corner of the City, with a new garden called Camomile Park. 

Fletcher Priest is planning garden terraces for some levels of the tower, which sounds lovely, though we’re not sure if you’ll need to be a banker, or have access to a banker’s salary, to visit them. 

Digital impression of a City of London skysraper with garden terraces
Credit: Fletcher Priest

Two 1980s-era office buildings will have to go to make room for the project. Fletcher Priest has yet to submit their planning application to the council, but it is due in later this year. The second round of design consultations will run over the summer, as the French investment firm Axa IM Alts reviews proposals for what will be its third and tallest tower in the Square Mile. 

This isn’t the only new kid on the block. There are 11 new skyscrapers planned for the area by 2030, as banks like HSBC abandon Canary Wharf for the City.

Last November, Fletcher Priest obtained planning permission for a 23-storey block at 55 Old Broad Street which would extend an existing office block in this cobbled lane behind Liverpool Street Station.

There are also plans for a 36-storey tower next to the ‘Walkie-Talkie’ plus a 54-storey block at 99 Bishopsgate. And let’s not forget, Eric Parry’s proposal to build the City’s tallest building, which would match the Shard’s 309-metre height and is likely to be approved despite ongoing criticism from historic England. 

Fletcher Priest’s skyscraper looks modest in comparison to Parry’s 74-storey behemoth. But the design firm has said their building is ‘seeking to differentiate itself from typical architectural styles within the City’. Perhaps the artistic liberty of its neighbours will rub off. 

So what will it be? Jam jar, milk carton or tin of beans? Place your bets.

More streets in the sky: 

This controversial new tower near Fleet Street has been approved

Plus, London could be getting 600 new skyscrapers

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