First look: this massive new London tower will compete with the Shard

While the Shard is a whopping 309.6 metres tall and London’s current tallest building, did you know that it doesn’t have the highest public viewing platform in the capital? That title goes to Horizon 22, which has a viewing platform that sits 254 metres above street level – a whole 11 metres higher than that of the Shard.

In any case, that record could soon be shattered by a new tower being proposed for the City of London. Called One Undershaft, the tower will be London’s joint-tallest (also standing 309.6 metres tall) and have its highest public viewing gallery. Well, if it’s approved, that is.

While plenty of these sorts of City skyscrapers can feel a bit exclusive, like glass towers filled with suits, meeting rooms and penthouses, the plans for One Undershaft appear to be show somewhere much more intended for public access. 

The plans, which come from Eric Parry Architects, show a ‘podium garden’ and viewing centre which will both be open to the public. On top of that, One Undershaft will apparently boast two floors of educational spaces at the top curated with the help of the Museum of London.

It all sounds pretty interesting – here are some renders of what a completed One Undershaft might look like.

One Undershaft designs, London
Image: DBOX for EPA
One Undershaft designs, London
Image: DBOX for EPA
One Undershaft designs, London
Image: DBOX for EPA

Any keen followers of City of London planning applications (we know you’re out there) might have noticed that One Undershaft is set for a site that received planning permission for a skyscraper way back in 2016. Those plans have since been considerably reworked to include more greenery and public space.

If approved, the tower is expected to be completed by 2029. You can find out about the tower on its official website here.

And One Undershaft certainly isn’t the only mega-tall tower planned for the City over the next few years. At Time Out we recently covered how the area will have 11 new skyscrapers by 2030, as well as how it may soon get one of Europe’s tallest buildings.

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