On Friday, the City of London Planning Sub-committee granted permission to Schroders for the redevelopment of 55 Bishopsgate, the first tall building to be proposed within the Corporation of London’s renewal opportunity site: the area identified as appropriate for future, sustainable tall building development in the City Cluster.
Closely aligning with the Corporation of London’s ‘Destination City’ ambitions, the building from AFK Studios includes a variety of activated, public-facing spaces. These include ‘The Conservatory’ across the uppermost levels – a space designed to offer much more than a view; and, notably, a potential future home for The London Centre - designed and curated in partnership with the NLA - including a ‘place lab’, exhibition and event spaces, and a 250-seat auditorium.
During the members debate at the committee, Planning and Transportation Chair Shravan Joshi commented, “I’ve seen first-hand the great work NLA do to excite children about careers in the built environment, and if you can bring that to a building like [55 Bishopsgate], you’re inspiring them not just with your words but with experiences.” Joshi also commented on how The London Centre will “add inclusivity and social mobility into the building, [which] enhances the offering further.”
Stanhope Project Director, Tom Bradley, said: “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to work closely with the NLA in the development of the unique cultural and educational offer at 55 Bishopsgate, and look forward to continuing to develop the proposition as we progress the development”.
Founder and CEO of AFK Studios, Earle Arney, said: “I am delighted our new landmark for London has been approved by the City of London Corporation. Taking inspiration from patterns found in nature, 55 Bishopsgate’s distinctive leaf-like form will be an elegant contribution to the London skyline. The scheme will offer a range of engaging, publicly accessible areas, such as 'The Conservatory' spanning the top floors to provide an immersive experience and panoramic views. With public spaces designed and curated in partnership with the NLA, providing a potential future home for The London Centre, this development will set a new international standard for tall buildings, responding to the changing drivers of the workplace whilst delivering compelling experiences for workers and visitors alike.”
Co-founder and Chief Executive of NLA Nick McKeogh said, “We are excited by the potential for NLA to develop a tailor-made, long term home for The London Centre as part of 55 Bishopsgate. We await the next steps in the planning process and in the meantime continue to enjoy our new home at Guildhall, where we have already welcomed 20,000 visitors since we opened in April."