RENZO REWORKS HIS GEM AT THE SHARD'S BASE
These are the first images of Renzo Piano's redesign of his 25 London Bridge Street scheme - the office building at the base of the Shard of Glass skyscraper. A replacement for a 1960s office block, the project, nicknamed the Gem, was originally given the thumbs-up in April 2006, after being rushed through the planning system in less than six months. However, as the practice continues to work on its 448m-tall Shard, above London Bridge Station, it has decided to revisit the 60,000m 2 Gem, with a new design being resubmitted for planning. The - rst scheme's sloping roof and curved facade have now gone, and the mechanical plant which was on the roof has been relocated to the basement, meaning the height of the building has been chopped down by 13m to 74m. This reduction has been helped by a drop in floor-to floor height from 3.8m to 3.7m. The revised scheme still 'steps down' toward Southwark Cathedral, but according to the practice is less bulky and 'more faceted like the Shard'. Throughout the redesign, neither the footprint nor the proposed oorspace were altered and the project will boast the same amount of retail frontage, public realm and 'renewables' as before.