A look at London’s Bishopsgate Pinnacle Building

Bishopsgate Building – The Pinnacle

Originally dubbed ‘The Bishopsgate Tower’ and affectionately known as the Helter Skelter, The Pinnacle is currently under construction in London’s financial district and when completed will join the likes of The Shard and The Gherkin as one of the city’s most recognisable skyscrapers. The eye-catching design is down to architects, Kohn Penderson Fox and is based on the twists, curves and curls found in nature. The building is inspired by and conscious of the natural environment and is set to have 21,500 sq ft of photovoltaic solar panels of exactly the same size, the most on any one building in the UK and will be able to generate up to 200KW of electricity. Like The Gherkin, its double layered skin will make it sensitive to weather and season changes to minimise energy consumption. The original design had the building at 307m tall but, due to concerns from the board of at the Civil Aviation Authority, had to be scaled down. When completed, The Pinnacle will stand at 288m, making it the second tallest building in the EU, just after its relatively close neighbour, The Shard.

Planning permission to build on the site was approved in 2006 and, when funding was secured from Arab Investments (who settled on the name, The Pinnacle) demolition of the existing buildings began in June 2007. The process was somewhat delayed by an injunction filed by neighbouring company Hiscox who objected to the noise but demolition was completed in June 2008. The construction process required the deepest pilings in the UK, which reached down to 48.5m below sea level. This section was finally finished in 2009. By December 2011, the core construction had been completed to the sixth floor. After delays due to funding concerns which were covered by Arab Investments and a loan from HSH Nordbank, construction on The Pinnacle was halted once again in March 2012 due to issues arising from pre-let agreements.

On completion, the majority of the building will be let as 88,000 sq ft of high quality office space, a large proportion of which will be rented by law firm, David Arnold. The top floors will provide space for a restaurant and London’s second largest public viewing platform (after The Shard).

Getting there

The site of The Pinnacle is at Crosby Court in the centre of The City, alongside The Gherkin. To reach it, alight at Aldgate Station (Circle, Hammersmith and City and Metropolitan lines), head west along Leadenhall Street and turn right onto Bishopsgate. Alternatively, from Bank Station (Central, Northern, Waterloo and City lines and DLR), walk east along Threadneedle Street to join Bishopsgate; in either case, the Pinnacle will be easily spotted for its soaring height and elegant, sleek design.

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