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Wilkinson Eyre reveals slimline City tower

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Wilkinson Eyre Architects last week submitted these designs for a new 34-storey tower in the City of London for planning permission.

The 57,000m2,144m tall building is unusual in that the 3300m2 site chosen - near the Leadenhall Market - is already being developed with a smaller scale scheme. It joins a host of other tall tower proposals in the capital and is claimed to be as slender an addition to the skyline as possible.That is, given height restrictions combined with the necessity of delivering the kind of 1500m2 floorplates required by financial tenants in the fight against rival locations such as Docklands.

The £100 million-plus scheme for Churchill Properties sits on a sixfloor podium at the junction between Gracechurch Street and Fenchurch Street. It reaches back to Lime Street and is predominantly glazed. Inside this podium there are two trading floors and space for retail, possibly a department store.

The tower consists of 'shell-like forms, slipped apart and of differing heights', with office space around a central core and 'executive' office and conference facilities on the top. At its head the tower drops on one side and the extruded forms are cut at opposing angles to 'sculpt' the profile and lighten its impact. There is 'no detrimental effect on St Paul's', claims the design report, and the building creates 'a new rhythm' with its tall neighbours - like Tower 42 and Canary Wharf in the distance.

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