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Hertshten Properties Limited (part of Hertshten Group, founded by Gedon Hertshten) has submitted a planning application for an exciting mixed-use office tower at 85 Gracechurch Street in the City of London.
Shaw Corporation acts as strategic advisors and global architectural studio Woods Bagot has led the design team that proposes a unique opportunity to rejuvenate the adjacent Leadenhall Market with a large civic public hall at ground level, a publicly accessible heritage garden, and 35,000sqm (GIA) of flexible Grade A office space.
The public hall, which recreates an historic Pedestrian route between Gracechurch Street and Lime Street Passage, is designed to accommodate flexible uses and events that support the rejuvenation of Leadenhall Market. Leadenhall Market has suffered from lower footfall and increased vacancy post pandemic and is restricted by its physical floor plan. The intention is that this complementary extension of the Market and cultural offer will help drive footfall and help turn Leadenhall Market into a 7-day-a-week national and international destination.
The proposals also include a publicly accessible Heritage Garden with areas of densely planted woodland that create a tranquil spot in the heart of the City. Internal areas of the garden include a multipurpose cultural space, that focuses on the history of this part of the City, from Roman London to the present day, with opportunities for archaeological display, VR exhibits and a cafe. The cultural and exhibition space is being brought forward in partnership with the Museum of London as cultural content partner. The garden leads visitors to an external elevated Heritage Walkway around the perimeter of the site, which offers a unique vantage point over the roofs of Leadenhall Market with its ornate octagon, lantern, and iron finials, and to the modern city beyond.
The development has a keen focus on its environmental impact, with an approach that meets or exceeds all Greater London Authority (GLA) and City of London (CoL) sustainability requirements. The all-electric building includes efficient mechanical systems, exemplar urban greening across the building, openable windows for natural ventilation, and over 600 cycle parking spaces which includes an automated cycle hub for visitors to the site and surrounding area. The sustainable design approach has equally considered the entire lifespan of the scheme: from adaptation and enhancement of the Gracechurch Street façade, deconstruction of the existing building, through to construction and during its long-intended operation as a net zero carbon building.
Working closely with heritage and townscape consultants and City of London Planning and Design officers, Woods Bagot has designed a unique architectural response which distils the character and appearance of the Leadenhall Market Conservation Area through contemporary responses to form, massing, articulation, materiality, and detailing.
Ron Hertshten, Director at Hertshten Group: “Hertshten Properties is very excited about developing an outstanding property, in a way that can benefit a multitude of stakeholders in a truly unique fashion. We envision 85 Gracechurch to serve the wider community whilst leading the charge in developing real estate in an environmentally friendly manner”.
Chris Shaw, Shaw Corporation: “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the City and Leadenhall Market with a vision that addresses social, cultural, and workplace changes that have been amplified by the pandemic and provides a best-in-class response to help reinvigorate the City and Leadenhall Market. This destination scheme is packed with vibrant spaces that people will want to see, visit, occupy, socialise in, and experience”.
James Taylor, Woods Bagot Principal and London Studio Chair: “We are incredibly excited to present our proposals for 85 Gracechurch Street. We have worked in close collaboration with our client, consultants, stakeholders, the EC BID, and City of London planning and design officers, to create a scheme which answers the modern needs of Leadenhall Market, the City of London, visitors and office occupiers.”
Andrew Reynolds, Chair of the Eastern City Business Improvement District (EC BID) said: “Leadenhall Market is an incredibly valuable asset in the Eastern City part of the Square Mile, but currently it punches well below its weight. This proposed new development, which would have direct interface with the market, with its ambitious ground floor uses and heritage garden, is exactly what the City needs. Crucially, it could provide the impetus for the holistic revival of the historic market, which would be a significant boost for this area and the wider City. The City must adapt to meet changing demands in the post-pandemic world. The leisure and retail offer needs to be exemplar and the experience of being in the Square Mile needs to be more compelling. This new City experience can only be achieved through ambitious new visions and developments that will help to shift perceptions and drive real change.”
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