Eight New Public Viewing Galleries Coming To The Square Mile

By M@ Last edited 6 months ago
Eight New Public Viewing Galleries Coming To The Square Mile
London Skyscrapers at sunrise with a deep blue background
22 Bishopsgate. Image Matt Brown

We're in a golden era of roof terraces and viewing galleries, with eight new spaces coming to the Square Mile alone.

Done the Sky Garden, the Garden at 120, and the Post Building? Plenty more ways to see the horizon are... on the horizon.

The Viewing Gallery, 22 Bishopsgate

A giant glass skyscraper disappears into the clouds with an aeroplane above
22 Bishopsgate disappearing into the clouds. Image Matt Brown

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.

8 Bishopsgate

A tall london tower with another under construction
8 Bishopsgate under construction (the one with the cranes) next to 22 Bishopsgate.

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.

A panorama of the London skyline from Bank junction
22 Bishopsgate and 8 Bishopsgate (rising behind the Royal Exchange) make the tallest alley in London. Both will have public viewing platforms. Image Matt Brown

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

A roof garden with St Pauls behind
The Seal House roof garden. Image City Scape Digital

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.

The Sky Garden in the Walkie Talkie
The Sky Garden - a popular pioneer of the destination view in an office building. Image Matt Brown

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.

Last Updated 11 April 2023

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