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Karen Cook of architects PLP to design londons tallest building 22

London’s tallest skyscraper is to be built on what was formerly its most prominent stalled construction site after planners granted permission for a 62-storey, 278m-high tower at 22 Bishopsgate.

Axa Investment Managers - Real Assets, the property unit of Europe’s largest insurer, won approval from the City of London borough to develop an office tower at 22 Bishopsgate near the skyscrapers nicknamed The Cheesegrater and The Gherkin.

The 62-story building will have more than 1.4 million square feet of workspace, shops and restaurants as well as a public viewing gallery at the top. It will be developed on the site of the failed Pinnacle tower, which was halted in 2012, and is due to be completed in 2018.

The base of what would have been the “Pinnacle” building, a curved glass skyscraper conceived before the financial crisis, has stood unused on a major City thoroughfare since plans stalled in 2012.

base of  development

But new backers, a consortium led by Axa Investment Managers, have secured the unanimous support of the City of London’s planning committee for a fresh design to be built on the foundations and basements already in place.

Construction will start next year, with a target completion date of 2019.

The building, a huge glass block that will house 12,000 workers, was conceived by developer Sir Stuart Lipton and his partner Peter Rogers and will be topped by London’s highest free-to-visit public space.

It will be the City’s first tower designed by a woman, US-born Karen Cook, of architects PLP.[pictured above]

The new tower will radically change the City skyline as it becomes the highest in the “cluster” that also includes the “Cheesegrater”, or Leadenhall Building, and “Gherkin” at 30 St Mary Axe.

Its developers have so far avoided nicknames, referring to the building simply as “22”.
Annie Hampson, the City’s chief planning officer, said: “22 Bishopsgate exemplifies many of the qualities we are looking for in our landmark buildings; it is elegant, calm, and open to the public.

“Tall buildings in the City’s eastern cluster near transport hubs are an effective way of creating the increase in office space and employment needed for a growing London.”

The building will incorporate shops and restaurants, plus 1,500 bike spaces and a cycle-repair shop, in a move that Axa said “aims to set new standards in promoting cycling in line with emerging policies to inspire a modal change in transport”.

The Axa-led consortium, which also includes an Asian investor said to be Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, spent £300m acquiring the site this year from its previous Middle Eastern backers.