City gives green light to flower power tower

towerA new 30-storey office tower with green walls and roof nestling next to London’s walkie talkie building has been approved by the City of London Corporation, CLC. Hong Kong-based developers Tenacity Group are behind the scheme which is the first tall building approved by CLC this year.

The proposed new tower at 55 Gracechurch Street, between Monument tube station and Leadenhall Market, offers 34,000 sqm of office space and 2,500 sqm of retail, cultural and open space.

Fletcher Priest Architects’ design includes a garden terrace and a suspended treetop public walkway with panoramic views across London. The tower’s roof will harvest rain to irrigate the building’s plants and surrounding trees.

Planning and transportation committee chair Cllr Alastair Moss said his organisation was positive about the Square Mile’s future despite the lockdown. “It is fantastic, therefore, to see this significant vote of confidence from the developers of 55 Gracechurch Street.

“The building design embraces emerging development trends, such as flexible workspace, greening and access to fresh air – all of which were rising trends that have now been embedded into building design as a result of the pandemic.”


Designed for healthy working

The development’s ventilation draws on outdoor air which is filtered and also used to cool the office floor.
Stones from the existing seven-storey building will be used as well as recycled steel delivering a 98 percent diversion of construction waste to landfill. UK building research organisation BREEAM has awarded the tower an ‘outstanding’ rating – given to just one percent of assessed buildings.

Tenacity Group founder and chief executive officer Patrick Wong said: “Despite the events of the last 12 months and the changes and challenges we have all witnessed, Tenacity is quite clear that the era of the office is not over. Far from it.

“We believe the future is bright for the right kind of space – space that 55 Gracechurch Street will provide – that embraces sustainability and provides flexibility, puts the needs of the workforce at its core but also engages with the wider community around it.”

[perfectpullquote align=”right” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”The era of the office is not over. Far from it.”[/perfectpullquote]

The new office areas include social and breakout zones and the building’s floorplan offers space for large businesses as well as SMEs and growth-stage companies.

It is car-free offering more than 500 cycle parking spaces with wider pavements and new pedestrian routes at ground floor level.

Bridging brokers Hank Zarihs Associates said property development funding was still there for innovative schemes attractive to employers keen for a presence in the City.

A contractor has not yet been appointed to the scheme. Tenacity also has plans for a 33-storey tower at 70 Gracechurch Street, called The Forum, to offer around 600,000 sq ft of office and retail space.