The City's Tallest Building: Inside The Heron Tower

M@
By M@ Last edited 88 months ago
The City's Tallest Building: Inside The Heron Tower


The recently completed Heron Tower reaches 230 metres into the City sky. It stands at one of London's most ancient junctions, a 'strategic crossroads' where the Roman Bishopsgate meets London Wall. It will soon offer the capital's highest public restaurant and bar, at least until competing towers are completed. We can confirm that the views are stunning.

On the rooftop balcony, looking up to the spire.
On the rooftop balcony, looking up to the spire.
Restaurant view of the Gherkin and Shard.
Restaurant view of the Gherkin and Shard.
There aren't many locations from which you can photograph the Gherkin and Tower Bridge together.
There aren't many locations from which you can photograph the Gherkin and Tower Bridge together.
The lobby aquarium.
The lobby aquarium.
The cladding. Linen-embossed stainless steel.
The cladding. Linen-embossed stainless steel.
A three-storey 'village' space within the tower.
A three-storey 'village' space within the tower.
The Heron takes centre stage, for a while at least, in this panorama.
The Heron takes centre stage, for a while at least, in this panorama.

Most of the building is given to office space. The business entrance is impressive. Polished marble floors, triple-height atrium and THAT fish tank. You can't have missed it if you've passed by on Bishopsgate. A 70,000 litre aquarium, with 27-cm-thick glass, set to contain 1,300 fish. And that includes sharks. The architects are coy on the pricetag behind such a bauble, admitting it "wasn't a small cost".

Double-decker, transparent lifts whiz workers up the side of the building at ear-popping speed. Photovoltaic cells pepper the facade and create a hypnotic effect as you zoom past.

The office floor plates offer some of London's most distracting views. Internal spaces are divided up into three-storey 'villages', with a light-giving atrium running vertically through each trio. The first tennants — McDermott, Will and Emery — have already moved in, and the building is 20% let.

But the top bits will excite most interest. Floors 38-40 will soon become London's loftiest destination (at least until the Shard is complete). The contract is with New York restaurant (and proponents of OTT web design) SushiSamba, who will divide the space into a South American restaurant, a Japanese restaurant and a bar area open till 3am. Customers will access these altitudinal eateries via dedicated lifts on Bishopsgate.

Back outside, the area immediately to the North of the tower will be demolished in May to make way for a new plaza and a Four Seasons hotel — the first 6-star hotel in the City.

Last Updated 13 April 2011