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KPF's latest London skyscraper receives planning

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KPF’s proposed 38-storey tower in the City of London has been approved by planners

KPF’s 58,000m² tower, known as 52-54 Lime Street, will sit next to Rogers’ Grade I-listed Lloyd’s Building.

The building which will be the new home of US insurance firm WR Berkley has been nicknamed ‘the scalpel’ due to its shape, which tapers to a point at a height of 206m.

Mark Boleat, chairman of the policy and resources committee of the City of London Corporation, commented: ‘WR Berkley is one of the world’s leading insurance companies and we welcome its decision to invest several hundred million pounds in the heart of the City of London. The City is the global hub for the specialist insurance sector and WR Berkley’s investment plans are another major vote of confidence in the City’s status as Europe’s financial capital.’

The scheme had previously been slammed by English Heritage, who had concerns over the building’s impact on the setting of the Tower of London.

A spokesman said: ‘It is our view that the tower, by adding additional bulk and scale to the consented tower at 22-24 Bishopsgate, will cause an additional degree of harm to the setting of the Tower of London. There is a concern that from some angles the appearance of a cluster of separate towers will actually read as one merged composition of tall development.’

Design watchdog CABE had also raised issues with the design - in particular the public realm and the scheme’s green credentials. The design review panel said: ‘While we welcome the drama created from the cranks in the building’s form, we think this is resolved more successfully at its upper levels than below on its eastern face. We feel the design of the public realm and proposed square needs further thought, including the way it complements the Aviva Plaza.

‘We have two regrets: first that while efforts have been made to meet high environmental targets, this significant landmark will not be an exemplar. Second, we would have preferred to review this design at pre-application stage.’

Read the full CABE design review here.

The scheme is set to complete in 2017. 

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