Architect Acme tweaks proposals to add extra levels and new terraces

City of London decision-makers are being advised to approve Acme Architects’ proposals to boost the height of an office development earmarked for a site opposite Aldgate tube station.

The practice originally won a resolution to grant planning permission for its 60 Aldgate building in December 2020 but further revisions to the scheme would deliver almost 5,000 sq m of additional office space and extra storeys.


Source: Acme Architects

Acme Architects’ revised proposals for 60 Aldgate, seen from the north-east

Members of the City’s planning and transportation committee are being urged to approve the revised proposals for the scheme, which will also see the demolition of historic local pub the Still & Star – and its replacement with a larger copy of the building on part of the site fronting Aldgate High Street.

Acme’s new proposals would deliver a building with three basement levels and 16 storeys at ground level and above, including mezzanine and plant levels. The 2020 scheme, for which planning permission was never finalised, comprised two basement levels, a ground floor and 12 upper storeys.

The latest incarnation of the scheme would deliver a total of 33,285sq m of floorspace, 32,613sq m of which would be for office use in a structure that would be 80.41m tall. There would also be 402sq m of ground floor retail space and the 269 sq m replacement pub.

The earlier version would have delivered a total of 28,690sq m of new space, of which 27,824sq m would be for office use, in a 68.65m building.

The application scheme also includes “sinuously curved terraces on its top four storeys” and changes to its structural arrangements – principally switching to a “hanging” design to reduce the number of columns landing between underground tunnels beneath the site.

Planning officers said Acme’s latest design, drawn up for client 4C Hotel Group, had been created to improve the quality of the proposed public realm, boost environmental and sustainability credentials, and “respond to post pandemic occupier needs”.

They said the proposal was a “high quality commercial led development that would have a positive impact on the Aldgate area” and deliver a scheme that was targeting a BREEAM “excellent” rating, rather than the earlier proposals’ “good” one.

60 Aldgate High Street (4)

Source: Acme

The version of Acme Architects’ 60 Aldgate scheme granted conditional approval in 2020

Officers said eight letters of objection had been received in relation to the proposals, including concerns about design, the loss of the Still & Star and the amount of embodied carbon the development would generate.

Tower Hamlets council also expressed concerns about the scheme’s impact on protected views of some capital landmarks that are covered by the London View Management Framework.

The City’s planning and transportation committee meets to consider the proposals later today.