The City of London Corporation has approved plans for a new 32-storey tower at 85 Gracechurch Street, the site of London’s original Roman forum in the heart of the Square Mile.
The tower, which will be located behind the historic Leadenhall Market on Gracechurch Street, will boast a total development size of 27,000 square metres.
A Heritage Garden and Virtual Reality Experience
To showcase the rich history of the site, the development will feature a fifth-floor “heritage garden” to display artefacts from the Museum of London’s archives, and a free virtual reality experience that will offer visitors a glimpse into the Roman open-air square that once stood in the same spot. Additionally, the basement of the building will showcase significant Roman remains, following concerns from Historic England.
Public Hall and Retail Spaces
The development will include a ground-floor public hall that will feature food, retail, and event spaces, and will help boost the Square Mile’s “tourist appeal”. The plans will “retain and restore” the 1930s facade of the existing nine-storey building, while the new structure will be built behind the market, approximately three times higher than the existing structure.
Plans Approved for 85 Gracechurch a Boost for London's Business Hub
Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Planning Applications Sub-Committee, Shravan Joshi said the new development is a “vote of confidence in the City as a global business hub” and will help to meet the growing demand for high-quality office space in the Square Mile. Joshi added that the scheme will set a high bar for other similar developments to follow.
Preserving the Site's History
Historic England initially objected to the development, citing concerns that it would harm highly significant archaeology at the heart of the Roman City. They withdrew their objection after the developers agreed to preserve and/or display the first forum-basilica remains if any are found, and to allow public access to view in-site remains in what will be the building’s basement.
London's Rich History
London is home to many historic landmarks, and the rediscovery of the forum-basilica remains during the construction of Leadenhall Market in the 1880s is a testament to the city's rich history. More recent digs in 1990 and 2001 have revealed even more remains dating back to around AD60. The plans for the new development at 85 Gracechurch Street will help to preserve and showcase this history, while also providing much-needed high-quality office space in the heart of the Square Mile.
The team at Anstey Horne, led by Senior Director Matt Grant, advised on all aspects of daylight & sunlight, overshadowing, solar glare and light pollution matters associated with the approved plans for 85 Gracechurch Street.
Client : Hertshten Properties (part of the Hertshten Group)
Client Representative : Shaw Corporation
Architect : Woods Bagot
Planning : DP9
Services : Daylight & Sunlight
Sector : Mixed Use
Also see our recent post on the new BRE guidelines for Daylight & Sunlight.
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