Bishopsgate is the main north-south arterial road through the eastern half of the City. It marks the commencement of Ermine Street, the Roman road that ran from London to York, and which exited the Roman city wall at Bishop's Gate itself. The original gate was erected along with the city wall in about 200 AD; it was replaced in the seventh century by the then Bishop of London, Eorconweald, was rebuilt again in 1479, rebuilt again in 1730 (having survived the Great Fire of London), and finally demolished in 1760. The site of the gate is at the crossroads where Bishopsgate meets London Wall. Nowadays, Bishopsgate is a showcase of modern architecture; several new building schemes have recently been completed and sevaral more are under construction or being put forward for planning permission.

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201 Bishopsgate and Broadgate Tower

Broadgate Tower and 201 Bishopsgate, under construction

Broadgate Tower and the neighbouring 201 Bishopsgate are part of the Broadgate estate (q.v.) and front Bishopsgate itself to the northeast of Loverpool Street station. These pictures were taken in 2007 as the glass cladding was being fitted in the latter stages of the buildings' construction. Both buildings were designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Broadgate Tower is curently the third highest building in the City, at 539ft, though it will not hold that position for much longer.

The sun glints off the glass cladding of Broadgate Tower

The two buildings have been constructed either side of a concrete raft built over the railway tracks coming out of Liverpool Street and the load of Broadgate Tower is partially carried by huge diagonal cross-braces that span the raft. A glass roof suspended from this frame hangs within inches of, but does not actually touch, the smaller buiilding. The space thus created is to be planted with mature trees and will become a public open space once the buildings are completed.

The UK's tallest tower crane on the south elevation during construction

The diagonal cross-braces spanning the raft over the Liverpool Street tracks

201 Bishopsgate under construction

Northern Bishopsgate and Bishops Square

Bishopsgate adjacent to the Bishops Square development

250 and 280 Bishopsgate

Just south of 201 Bishopsgate and on the opposite side of the road stand two smart new glass office buildings, 250 and 280 Bishopsgate; these are the part of the adjacent Bishops Square development that front the main road (see also the Spitalfields Market page). 280 Bishopsgate is the taller and more northern of the two; it was designed by Foggo Associates for Hammerson and rises to 210ft. The neighbouring 250 Bishopsgate is 161ft tall and was designed by Foggo Associates for the occupiers, Dutch bank ABN Amro.

The glass frontages of 250 and 280 Bishopsgate

Detailing of 250 Bishopsgate

Further detailing of 250 Bishopsgate including the indented porch and multiple reflections

The Broadgate Estate and Liverpool Street

155 Bishopsgate

This classically designed building is actually three properties with a common facade; nos. 133, 155 and 175 Bishopsgate. The buildings form part of the Broadgate estate and stand between Bishopsgate itself and Liverpool Street railway station; the principal tenant is Barings Bank. The building has been described as "a skyscraper on its side". The Bishopsgate facade features a mix of polished stone and glass, and is designed with plenty of modelling and detailing that both pleases the eye and gives the building a fair amount of gravitas.

The southern frontage, at the entrance to Liverpool St Station.

99 Bishopsgate

99 Bishopsgate

Surrounded as it is with higher and more famous towers, 99 Bishopsgate does tend to be overlooked; a pity, as it is rather a gem in its own right. Standing at the junction of Bishopsgate and Wormwood Street, this 26-floor building was designed by GMW Architects for Hammerson. The main tower stands 341ft (104 metres) tall, though the podium is extensive and also contains the seperate premises of 101 Bishopsgate. It was compleed in 1976 and until recently was the corporate headquarters of HSBC. The dark crown is a facade overrun.

Cladding and detailing of 99 Bishopsgate

Reflections off a neighboring building

99 Bishopsgate seen from the south; the contrast of classical and modern

Tower 42

Tower 42

Tower 42, originally known as the Nat West Tower, was Britain's first skyscraper. Designed by Richard Seifert for the National Westminster Bank, it stands 600ft (128 metres) tall and has a frontage on Old Broad Street. Construction took 9 years and the building was completed in 1980.

Tower 42 from Bishopsgate

When completed the building was the tallest cantilevered tower in the worls, and it stood as the tallest building in London until it was overtopped by One Canada Square in Canary Wharf ten years later. The oft-held belief that the shape of the building represents Nat West's logo is an urban myth.

The tower in portrait

The building was renamed Tower 42 after Nat West moved out. It features an expensive seafood and champagne bar called Vertigo on the 42nd floor, affording its patrons exclellent views across central London and beyond.

Southern Bishopsgate

Views of southern Bishopsgate including the "Wurlitzer" and more shots of Tower 42

Several other iconic buildings line the southern half of Bishopsgate, notably 54 Lombard Street (a.k.a. the Wurlitzer, formerly the corporate HQ of Barclays) and the "international" stye facades of the Tokyo Marine and Deutsche Bank buildings.

Coming Soon

The Pinnacle

Currently under construction at 22-38 Bishopsgate is what will become the tallest building in the City. The aptly-named "Pinnacle" is due for completion in 2012 and will stand 944ft (288 metres) above ground level, half as tall again as Tower 42. The building, which is designed by Kohn Pederson Fox, will be spiral-shaped, tapering to a point at its apex; it has been jokingly named the "helter-skelter". At ground level the glass walls will flare out to form a skirt, forming a covered atrium fronting the ground, first and second floors; these three floors will be part of the public domain, given over to shops and cafes. These features should ensure that the Pinnacle, like the Gherkin, will become a place to visit in its own right.

Renderings of the future Heron Towe

Also under construction, diagonally opposite 99 Bishopsgate, is the Heron Tower. A very distinctive office block, again by Kohn Pederson Fox, it will stand 715ft (202 metres) high including it spire. The building is of a post-modern assymetric style with different facades on each of the four sides. It will be clad in blue-tinted glass throughout and will feature visible lifts running up the south side of the building. Three floors towards the top will have public access, comprising a restaurant, bar and viewing gallery. The superstructure is due to begin rising in late 2008 and the building is due for completion in 2010; it will stand as the City's tallest building for at least 18 months until it is overtaken, first by 122 Leadenhall St and then by the Pinnacle.

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This page last updated 27th August 2008