...BUT ITS PROVENANCE NEEDS CLOSER ATTENTION
While your interesting feature (AJ 05.10.06) correctly states that planning permission for Palestra was achieved in 1999, the client was in fact a pension fund, landlord to the British Library and my client, which sold the site to Alsop's client, Blackfriars Investment.
Permission was for a mixture of offices, ats, live-work units, a supermarket and hotel and, I'm afraid, it established the height that could be achieved on the site.
At the time office rents were £81/m 2 rather than the reported £377/m 2 now to be paid by London council-tax payers!
Brian Waters, The Boisot Waters Cohen Partnership, London