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PLP's Helter Skelter replacement set for approval

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The City of London looks set to approve PLP’s proposed replacement for KPF’s half-built Pinnacle tower, which was nicknamed the Helter Skelter

The 278m-tall skyscraper, which will be 10m shorter but will have 30 per cent more floor space than the abandoned Helter Skelter scheme, has been recommended for approval by the City’s planning and transportation committee.

PLP’s plans for a 62-storey tower, officially known as 22 Bishopsgate, emerged earlier this year after the stalled site was taken over by French fund manager Axa Real Estate and development partner Lipton Rogers in a £500 million deal.

The Helter Skelter tower stood as a nine-level concrete ‘stump’ for more than three years after contractor Brookfield Multiplex was forced to abandon work on it during the recession in 2011.

The new PLP scheme will provide 130,000m² of office space and will also include a public viewing gallery at the top alongside a two-storey public restaurant and bar, a conference venue, medical centre, library, a wellness suite and specialised sports facilities (see full plans here).

The design of 22 Bishopsgate is being led by Karen Cook, who co-founded PLP following her exit from KPF in the summer of 2009.

According to the planning papers, the proposal is ‘calm and restrained’ and would ‘create an elegant, abstract form with a strong verticality to subdue and lighten its impact on the skyline’.

However there have been a number of objections to the plans, most notably from the Royal Parks, the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and charity Historic Royal Palaces (HRP).

HRP complained that unlike the twisting, tapering form of the Helter Skelter, the new scheme would overshadow the Tower of London and ‘further diminish the White Tower’s once-dominant scale in relation to the City’.

Its letter to the City of London reads: ‘[The] proposed building would be no taller than the Pinnacle, but, where the latter diminished to a slender point, the new building would be broad shouldered, maintaining much of its width for much of its height.’

The application will be heard next Tuesday (17 November).

PLP Architecture's latest proposal for 22 Bishopsgate - formerly the Pinnacle [aka the Helter Skelter]

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Why are you showing only images of the pre-application massing studies? Those images don't represent the actual planning application (thankfully). The tower will be massive - very wide from some angles, like the Pinnacle was although this one looks taller so the proportions seem slimmer. From some angles it's very slim, simple and reveals a symmetrically stepped crown. It's going to be unavoidable, and if we concentrate on looking at it from its best sides, it might be quite photogenic. However, it will be the most massive thing on the skyline. If this isn't too big for its context, then nothing is.

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