22 Bishopsgate: New Images Of City's Tallest Skyscraper

By M@ Last edited 35 months ago
22 Bishopsgate: New Images Of City's Tallest Skyscraper

Three years after construction halted on the Pinnacle skyscraper, its proposed replacement has been officially unveiled. Here it is, in all its, um, glory:

Image: Hayes

22 Bishopsgate will be the Square Mile's tallest building at 278 metres — not much shorter than the Shard, across the water in Southwark. It will also contain a free public viewing gallery, plus what looks like being London's highest restaurant and bar (although the Shard is a taller structure, its food offerings are on lower decks).

gracechurchUp to 12,000 people will work in the building. The developers also promise plenty of additional features, including:

"...a range of cafés, food outlets and a conference centre, complimented with amenities such as a medical centre, library, a wellness suite, and specialised sports facilities. 22 Bishopsgate will host art installations, curated events and seminars, while on the ground floors, there will be a programme of coached sessions ranging from cookery through to language lessons."

(We hope those language lessons include the difference between 'complimented' and 'complemented'.)

While other recent towers have opted for unorthodox shapes (Gherkin, Cheesegrater, Scalpel, Can of Ham...), the new skyscraper carries a less striking profile. It's a simple-looking affair, much less showy than the original Pinnacle, which would have sported a helter-skelter-style crown. From one render, the new 'scraper looks not unlike a taller, blander version of Tower 42. It's hard to work up much enthusiasm for this proposed new landmark, which does not appear to have moved on much from early concept images leaked a few months ago.

22 Bishopsgate highlighted by the arrow. Other as-yet-unbuilt structures, such as the Can of Ham and 100 Bishopsgate are included, to show what the skyline might look like in a few years. Image: Hayes

The design was led by Karen Cook of PLP Architects, working on behalf of a consortium of international investors led by AXA Real Estate. The consortium purchased the site earlier this year. Subject to planning application, the scheme could start by the end of 2015, and will necessitate the demolition of The Stump — the concrete fist leftover from the aborted attempt to build the Pinnacle. The developers hope to be done by 2019.

The Stump — London's smallest skyscraper — will be demolished.

Further details will be released on this website from noon today. An on-site visitor centre, with further information, is open all week, noon-8pm (with a break at 2-3pm).

Model of the tower, from the Bishopsgate showroom.

Article updated with additional images at 1.15pm, 15 June 2015.

Last Updated 15 June 2015


I would suggest everyone get down there and give them your feedback - personally this feels a wasted opportunity. The Pinnacle had panache, soar and status, this is an overbloated office block designed to make money - not to improve or excite the lives of those living and visiting London. Go back to the drawing board and come up with a scraper worthy of London, one to rival the Gherkin and the Shard.


I really like it.

Danni Ashcroft

I think this is much better than the Pinnacle, there need to be some normal-ish looking buildings in the city, not all new bits of London can be more architectural dickwaving.

Tony Hart

I like the free viewing gallery but otherwise this is uninspiring


Only the developer wants the building this BIG in its location. The City needs something modest in that location. The building ruins the view from the Bank station towards Royal Exchange, which should be one of the images to be shown in the exhibition.


It's just very average and disappointing. If it tapered a little more it might be better, similar to the cheesegrater, scalpel, gherkin, shard or, well, the original pinnacle. Hopefully it'll go back to the drawing board.


This is really terrible design for the city and for London.


I've often thought we need an additional 12,000 people pressing into the tube at commute time. It just feels so... empty down there at 5pm.

Andrea Vail

I'm going to miss The Stump.


That's attractive. I've had it up to here with wacky shapes that make the City look like Dubai or Shanghai or kids playing with plasticine. Ignore the blather about curated events and cookery lessons, developers will say anything, but it *looks* good.

Andy Carter

Finally a modest piece of design in the city! This building shouldn't be criticised for being reserved and dignified. Shame on you Londonist!


Wow. This is ugly as sin.


The shape reminds me of Blockbusters. Holness Tower anyone?


What a hideous proposal. Too fat and wide. Cannot believe that this is going to be the 'pinnacle' of the Square Mile.

Joseph Whittle

Karen Cook was a partner at KPF before breaking away to form PLP. This has the same corporate American anonymity as a lot of KPF's office blocks.


The slab? The Gravestone?

jonathan rowe

you need the plain/mundane/ugly buildings to make the good ones stand out. Too many edgy designs and you end up with a dubai

Steve D

The Pinnacle had much more architectural merit than this plain obelisk and would make a greater impact on the City skyline.


Corruption ?! Distruction?! No. It`s something more. It`s shame of London and londonist`s for thousand`s and thousand`s cranes around a capital of U.K. It`s very shy and bed quality of life to live in London for 2 or 3 days. It`s not the case to bild thousand`s and thousand`s bilding`s in a city where living more than 15 milion inhabitants Polution, dirty and murder smog of black cabs, and big quantity of dast from meny meny bilding`s witch are grouing up, makes London not the best living place of the word, but the worst place of Univers. I`m so sorry for that. Specialy the meny meny constraction premitte. Very Shame.


Architectural tin of spam


I agree with all of the previous commenters in complaining about this fashion for new-fangled modern design. I think that London should have new buildings which reflect our city's wonderful heritage and traditions. My vote therefore goes to a 100 storey half-timbered wattle and daub building, with clay floors, lit by clay oil lamps.


The reason this is so great is its simple back to badics design. The city is turning into a shelf at a your local Halfords. This and moee like it will stop all that madness and eyesores and adds uniformity. The problem with "bold" structures is that they might be impressive solo, but in their surrounding they look like an infant's idea of a fun city...


I tend to avoid any talk about new buildings in London because it's generally all the at home architects saying it's "rubbish" and then people trying to come up with banal names for them. Creativity really is an undervalued commodity.

But I'm glad I came here to see Matt pull them up on complimented. My heckles went up straight away when I read that.

David Sankey

It has got to be horrible - there is nothing you can do with buildings of this size and bulk: 1) it will plunge a whole swathe of London into gloom and darkness with its shadow, 2) it forms part of the "Urban Canyon Effect" permanently trapping air pollution in a slab-sided box. Already 4,000 Londoners die of the effects of diesel particles alone. This will make sure that many more city workers will be among them... ...The only good place is to be in a building like this - looking out. Otherwise - it is foul

Ben Wilde

Cheap design and looks dated already - something derivative that wouldn't be out of place in any city in the world.. Considering the position and the fact that this will be there for a very long time then you would think that the original design would be adhered to....

Tom J Wright

'Uninspired' just doesn't quite cover this offering I'm afraid. I can only hope the planning authority suggests as much to them.


London deserves so much better. This building has so much bulk and will be the centre of the City cluster, for it to be such an average and ugly piece of architecture is unforgivable. See views from a distance like this:

The Pinnacle designs sat much better alongside the rest of the cluster. Here it is with it's bloated girth completely dominating the skyline when looking east: