Corporation has grand designs for the riverside district


Visitors to the City of London will soon have an additional garden in the sky after planning permission was rubberstamped to redevelop Seal House.

The City Corporation gave the green light for an overhaul of 1 Swan Lane earlier this week.

When complete, the new building will offer a publicly accessible roof garden on the 12th floor and a restaurant on the 11th floor, both offering riverfront views of the City’s landmarks and the surrounding area.

The 11-storey building was approved by the planning and transportation committee as the latest step in the regeneration of the City’s riverside district, an area identified in the draft City Plan 2036 as one of “great potential” for future development.

Upon completion it will provide 16,084sq metres of office space, as well as more than 300 cycle parking spaces, basement showers, large terraces for office workers on levels nine and 10, ground-floor retail space, a green wall with cascading plants, and a public viewing gallery with a fully dedicated lift.

Committee chairman Chris Hayward predicted the riverside district would grow to become a competitor to the lively South Bank opposite.

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Images by Cityscape Digital Ltd

He said: “As a leading business district welcoming 513,000 workers every day, it is vital to continue to deliver office space for the significant growth expected when the Elizabeth line opens.

“Standing next to the Grade II*-listed Fishmonger’s Hall, this development demonstrates the City’s distinctive ability to house the old and new side by side, while becoming more accessible to members of the public.

“More than ever we are seeing businesses make location decisions based on the quality of built environment and public realm that they can offer their employees.

“This development is a vote of confidence in the City of London.”

The building will become the latest in the City to offer a public roof garden, after the green space at 120 Fenchurch Street opened to the public last month.

Situated at a prominent point on the north bank of the Thames, Seal House will offer uninterrupted views towards Tower Bridge to the east, Southwark Cathedral and Borough to the south, and St Paul’s Cathedral and the City’s skyscraper district to the north.

The roof garden will be open all year round, seven days a week, and will be able to accommodate up to 200 members of the public at any one time.

It will also be fully accessible to disabled persons, with two disability car parking spaces provided.