If you’ve walked down Bishopsgate at any point over the past few years you may have noticed something strange, a rather pathetic concrete stump sticking out of the ground. This was to be the beginnings of the second tallest skyscraper in the country, triumphantly named ‘The Pinnacle’.
The designs for this skyscraper have been known for nearly a decade but construction finally looked to be starting back in 2010 when the previous building was demolished and construction crews started building a concrete core. Unfortunately the Saudi Investors quickly ordered a halt to construction once they realised the cost of the building coupled with the downturn in the financial markets meant that the building was no longer viable. So that’s where we’ve been left for nearly 5 years now, with a stump in the ground.
Until now! The site has recently been bought up by another investor with plans to push ahead with construction of a skyscraper on the site. A redesign was likely, due to the huge cost of the last design, but no one has seen the new designs, until today.
Let me first remind you of the previous design:
This design by Kohn pederson fox was largely applauded as an excellent design, fitting for its prominent location and iconic height.
So the new design must be of equal quality right? Wrong.
Oh please, no. This is what we are now presented with, a box that wouldn’t look out-of-place in a dreary mid-sized American city. This redesign has likely come forward to maximise the floorspace (and thus profitability) of the new building.
Whilst I would usually not take such a one-sided view on any subject, the design for this building in this location, is offensively bland. This building will exist for possibly hundreds of years in the most central area of our city, whatever is built here should rival St. Pauls and the Shard in architectural merit. The architect of the previous design once said that “Architecture should surprise and delight”, this new design accomplishes the opposite.
Our only hope is that City Planners tell the developers to get back to the drawing board, but I wouldn’t hold your breath. I’d prefer to keep the stump.