1 Undershaft, the tallest skyscraper in the City of London

By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor

London’s skyline is set to grow even higher as a newly planned skyscraper could become the capitals second tallest building. The 73-storey building, will be 309.6 meters tall, and will be called 1 Undershaft.

The building is exactly the same height as the Shard and is also the maximum size the Civil Aviation Authority will allow. 1 Undershaft will be much larger than its neighbour the Gherkin.

It will have a public viewing gallery which will be higher than the Shard’s public offering and will also be free to visit. The plans also envisage a restaurant and education centre for school trips.

The structure will be in between the Gherkin and Leadenhall Street’s Cheesegrater. It will join a number of new skyscrapers planed for London, alongside Morello Tower in Croydon and a new building in Canary Wharf.


The tower has been commissioned by Singapore-based Aroland Holdings and designed by London’s Eric Parry Architects. Parry said the public elements of the building will mean it is in use seven days a week.

He added: “1 Undershaft will create more of the quality office space that is desperately needed in the capital and will reconnect the city’s tall building cluster with the public.

“This building will set new standards for the City in terms of comfort, quality, environmental sustainability and putting the public at the heart of the tower.”

The 90,000 square metre structure, which will replace the Aviva Building, will be able to accommodate 10,000 people and will have 1,500 bicycle spaces as well as new shower and changing facilities. To avoid repeating the Walkie Talkie’s car-melting disaster – where a London skyscraper was blamed for reflecting light and melting parts of a Jaguar car – architects said “special fins included in the design will reduce solar glare”.

Plans for 1 Undershaft have been in the offing since July. They will have to be submitted to the City of London Corporation for approval.

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