London's Third Tallest Skyscraper Gets the Green Light

Hong Kong-based developers Lai Sun has received approval for a 56-storey tower in the heart of London's financial district despite opposition from St Paul’s Cathedral.

"The Diamond" is set to be London's third-tallest building when completed and will be built within a close-knit formation of towers known as the eastern cluster, which also includes Norman Foster's Gherkin.

London's latest skyscraper will accommodate 102,000sq m of office space, capable of welcoming 6,000 office workers, with the tower also featuring a free public viewing gallery, restaurant, bar and shops.

The office tower is designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) who were appointed to the project in 2016 after a winning a competition held between five renowned architectural teams.

The US-based architects are responsible for One World Trade Center in New York and the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

The building’s facades are designed as complex three-dimensional forms based on a pattern of interlocking diamonds to create an ever-changing light pattern over the course of the day.

Related: Lendlease Revives $6.2bn East London Project

London Diamond TowerImage: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Despite objections raised by St Paul’s Cathedral, the city’s planning and transportation committee voted in favour of permitting the development.

St Paul’s Cathedral had complained about encroachment on views of its dome.

The application will be now be referred to the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, for final approval.

Committee member Brian Moody said the skyscraper's office space potential was vital in the context of the political confusion surrounding Brexit.

“The City must send out a very strong message, we are open to business,” Moody said.

Lai Sun acquired 100 Leadenhall Street in October 2015 for £107 million (A$190 million).

The tower will also sit across 107 Leadenhall Street, which was also bought by the firm in 2014 for £60 million (A$160 million).

Demolition of three existing buildings will now take place at the site of 100 Leadenhall Street will make way for the tower Londoners have nicknamed Cheesegrater 2.

The three existing office buildings, two of which are considered to be non-designated heritage assets, are status one level below grade II listings.

Construction will now commence on The Diamond which is marked for completion in 2026.


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Article originally posted at: https://www.theurbandeveloper.com/articles/lai-sun-london-diamond-skyscraper