In 1938 – as skyscrapers shot up across New York – the City of London moved to protect London’s skyline with eight “protected viewing corridors” ensuring St Paul’s Cathedral remained visible from spots including Alexandra Palace, Richmond, Westminster Pier and Greenwich Park. With the soaring 540ft Broadgate Tower positioned near a point where two of these viewing corridors cross, the architects carefully created the Tower’s distinctive facade to reflect shadows and produce light that would change throughout the day.
Now the 14th tallest building in London (tellingly for city’s growing skyline, it was the fourth tallest when it first arrived in 2008), the positioning of the Tower above Liverpool Street Station’s train tracks also meant that it would sit on a raft above the lines with a large A-frame structure supporting its load. The giant girders that reach down to Broadgate Plaza are not just there for aesthetics; they’re part of the tower’s foundations.
Both buildings were briefed to be energy efficient in 2005; in fact, their energy consumption levels were so low they were well below new standards introduced three years later. In-keeping with such green credentials, the roof of 201 Bishopsgate has been designed as a haven for bees, birds, insects and butterflies encouraging biodiversity and a sanctuary for wildlife away from human intrusion. Over on the roof of Broadgate Tower, there’s even a bird box specifically for peregrine falcons.