To date its skyline has been reasonably modest – especially when in comparison to the likes of Manhattan or say, Singapore.
But in a decade’s time, London could be catching up Big Time. The reason? A total of 11 skyscrapers are planned for the UK capital’s City area. And one of these – 1 Undershaft – will be take the crown of the highest yet, at 310 metres, as high as The Shard. That makes it 32 metres higher than the current tallest building in the City at 22 Bishopsgate.
The latter may have a free viewing gallery, but 1 Undershaft is set to impress by its presence – a design of three stacking towers, each with it is own terrace, and designed by architect Eric Parry.
More workers move to City – but Finance Sector falls
All of the 11 planned towers will be built in the capital’s financial district. But not all will be filled with financial whizz kids, the Big Tech firms are moving in too.
It was the Tech sector, rather than Finance which showed the biggest growth in jobs in the City last year. Management consulting, accounting and legal sectors were next highest (HSBC and the law firm Clifford Chance have already announced they’ll move to the City soon). Finance jobs actually fell by eight per cent.
TikTok has already made its presence felt at the Kaleidoscope building next to Smithfield market and is now expanding in Farringdon.
The City of London expect job growth to expand by 85,000 by 2040. That’s according to a Knight Frank survey which showed 1.2m sq metres of office space is needed to accommodate these additional workers. Planning applications and approvals are already up by a quarter compared to the previous year.
In addition, an additional 29,000 people began work in the Square Mile in 2021-22, according to the Office for National Statistics figures. That takes the total number of workers there to 615,000.
From ‘people in suits’ to ‘people in T-shirts and trainers’
Shravan Joshi, chair of the city’s planning and transportation committee at the corporation, confirmed the working population had changed in recent years from “people in suits” to “people in T-shirts and trainers”.
“Tech is probably the biggest uptaker of tenancy that we’ve got in the City this year,” he said.
He added that half of the City working population were under 30 years of age. “These are people that want mentoring, they want to be back in the office, they are doing shifts and apprenticeships,” he said.
Certainly, Transport for London say weekly travelling into the city is now 70 per cent of pre-lockdown levels.
Some of the City skyscrapers will be added to existing buildings in the City. There will also be new pedestrian routes and urban green space. Consumer outlets, and the hospitality sector will also be encouraged to open up shops, cafes, restaurants and bars.
At the same time a further 600 new towers are planned for other areas across London. These include the Greenwich Peninsula, Elephant & Castle and White City. Not all are offices, the £1.3 billion Ladbroke Grove project is residential, for instance. After all, those workers will need somewhere to live.
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