We're in a golden era of roof terraces and viewing galleries, with eight new spaces coming to the Square Mile alone.
The Viewing Gallery, 22 Bishopsgate
The biggy coming up is the viewing gallery at 22 Bishopsgate. In case you (understandably) haven't been keeping up with London's recent skyscrapers, this is the tallest building in the Square Mile. At 278 metres, it's just a few double-deckers short of the Shard.
The gallery will be on the 58th floor, with an even more elevated restaurant nesting above. Like the Sky Garden, entrance to the gallery will be free, but will need pre-booking. Planned opening is summer 2023.
This peculiar tower is sometimes called 'the Jenga', thanks to its jumble of boxes. It, too, has a public viewing gallery due to open in the summer of 2023. The building nestles in between 22 Bishopsgate and the Cheesegrater, creating what we reckon is the tallest alleyway in London.
Given its proximity to 22 Bish, yet lower height, 8 Bishopsgate is going to have to offer something special to attract punters.
Six more rooftops, coming soon
Despite the downturn and radically changed work-at-home habits, the office development pipeline still overfloweth. Six more under-construction buildings will also offer public viewing galleries in the near future. Expect to be calling an elevator at 120 Fleet Street, Seal House (near London Bridge), Millennium Bridge House, 81 Newgate Street, 1 Leadenhall Court and Citicape House (Holborn Viaduct) in the not-too-distant future.
The rash of new developments with public views is not an accident. It's part of the City of London's strategy to get more people into the Square Mile for reasons other than business. Many of these projects would not have received planning consent without offering some form of public access.
Whether the public will have enough appetite for views to make all of these schemes a success — especially if they need pre-booking — remains to be seen. For now, though, lofty views are clearly in demand. The Walkie Talkie building's Sky Garden has just attracted its 10 millionth visitor, with long queues often forming outside. The building itself is much criticised for its overbearing, top-heavy design, yet it's become a genuine hit with visitors to London.