Scheme has been drawn up by Danish practice 3XN

60 Gracechurch Street

First images of the proposed tower, highlighted on the right

Sellar and Japanese developer and contractor Obayashi have announced plans to build a “landmark” £500m office tower at 60 Gracechurch Street in the City of London.

The pair have launched the first public consultation on designs by Danish practice 3XN for the tower, which will rise to at least 30 storeys and contain around 400,000 sq ft of floorspace.

3XN is an emerging force on the London tower architectural market with the firm behind plans to revamp British Land’s Euston Tower scheme as well as the same developer’s 2 Finsbury Avenue project, a 37-storey tower due to be built by Sir Robert McAlpine at the ongoing Broadgate redevelopment.

The Gracechurch Street scheme will replace the site’s existing eight-storey building, which was completed in 1997 and currently serves as the London headquarters of German financial services firm Allianz.

Early images of 3XN’s proposals show a large building with a series of planted balconies slanting across a white-coloured facade and several larger terrace levels at roof level.

Obayashi development manager Neil Connolly told Building the aim was to “produce something which is at the forefront of today’s thinking on carbon and genuine sustainability but also something which will stand the test of time”.

The project team so far also includes Turner & Townsend Alinea as cost consultant, project manager Gardiner & Theobald, Arup on engineering and sustainability and planning firm DP9.

The Townscape Consultancy is also on the team as townscape and heritage consultant along with public realm and landscaping consultant Townsend and transport consultant Velocity.

60 Gracechurch Street existing

The existing building at 60 Gracechurch Street was completed in 1997

The tower would be the latest in an emerging group of tall buildings along Gracechurch Street that are set to fill in the currently low-rise gap between the Walkie Talkie building and the City’s eastern cluster of towers which includes 22 Bishopsgate.

Other planned schemes in the neighbourhood include the 32-storey Woods Bagot-designed 85 Gracechurch Street, KPF’s 33-storey 70 Gracechurch Street and Fletcher Priest’s 32-storey 55 Gracechurch Street, all of which have been consented in the past three years.

All of these buildings are around 150m in height, which is expected to be around the height of 3XN’s plans for 60 Gracechurch.

Consultation documents said the brief for the scheme was to develop an “iconic building that is worthy of its prominent position” as one of the last remaining development sites on the western boundary of the cluster.

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A second consultation will be held in late spring before a full planning application is submitted this summer, with a decision by the City expected towards the end of the year. 

Construction will then start in 2026 once the existing building is vacated and complete in 2029, according to the developer team.

Obayashi, founded in 1892, is one of the largest construction companies in Japan with turnover of nearly £13bn last year.