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Heron Tower pictured from Wormwood Street in 2012
|Antenna spire||230 metres (755 ft)|
|Roof||202 metres (663 ft)|
|Other dimensions||2,400-square-metre (26,000 sq ft) site|
|Floor count||46 |
|Floor area||461,478 sq ft (43,000 m2)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Kohn Pedersen Fox|
The tower is owned by Heron International and stands 230 m tall including its 28 m mast (202 m excluding the mast) making it the third tallest in Greater London, after One Canada Square at Canary Wharf and the Shard.
It attracted some controversy when first announced due to its proximity to St Paul's Cathedral when viewed from Waterloo Bridge. English Heritage was notably vocal in expressing concerns. A public inquiry was subsequently held, the outcome of which was decided by deputy prime minister John Prescott, who ruled in the developers' favour. The tower was given final approval for construction in July 2002.
Three years later, the project had yet to begin construction. In September 2005 the Heron Property Corporation submitted a planning application to increase the height of its approved building. Heron's revised plans now proposed a 202-metre (663 ft) tall tower topped by a 28-metre (92 ft) mast, giving it a total height of 230-metre (755 ft). Although the design was largely identical to the previous scheme, the tower's crown and southern façades were refined. In January 2006, the revised project was approved by the City of London Corporation.
The Heron Tower was designed to feature a concierge-style entrance and reception area, incorporating a 70,000 litre aquarium containing around 1,200 fish. The aquarium is the largest privately-owned in the United Kingdom and contains over 60 species of fish in an entire sustainable ecosystem; the species were selected by expert biologists and animal curators to ensure compatibility and adaptability to the aquarium environment. The tank is attended to by a dedicated team of two full-time fish attendants, who feed the fish a diet rich in natural ingredients according to their requirements and monitor the tank for water chemistry and fish health, and two to three part-time divers who clean the rockwork and glass twice a week.
A bar-restaurant called the Drift occupies part of the ground and first floors. There will be a restaurant and "sky bar" - both open to the public - on floors 38-40. Situated 175 m above the City and accessed by scenic lifts from a dedicated entrance on Bishopsgate, the restaurant and bar will have external terraces.
In March 2007, it was confirmed that Heron had signed a funding deal with the State General Reserve Fund of the Sultanate of Oman to provide the equity for the development. Following the appointment of Skanska, the firm that erected the gherkin-shaped 30 St Mary Axe, as main contractor, work began on the site in mid-2007.
Full construction began in April 2008, with foundation piles and steel rebar cages being installed, while the first tower crane was erected in June. In August a second tower crane was erected, followed by a third and final crane in September. In early October, the first steel beams appeared on site, with the core visible above street level. In November, steelwork temporarily finished, and concrete was poured for the base slabs. Pouring of concrete continued until Christmas.
Steelwork recommenced on 19 January 2009. The speed of construction then increased, with floors being constructed in sets of two, with each set taking a planned fortnight to construct. The first cladding was applied on 22 May.
In July, Heron International, Skanska and Kohn Pedersen Fox held a time capsule ceremony at the site, marking the sealing of the building's foundations. The capsule contained a number of items of significance to the Heron Tower and also included an ethically sourced tortoise shell, in line with Feng Shui principles. In October 2009 the tower was at 34 floors standing at just over 150 m, meaning it was defined as a skyscraper. In mid-October, construction reached the tower's first 'setback' - the '3 storey village' construction over, and the last 50 m of the building to be constructed, forming the top of the tower, followed by the spire to top out the building. In early November 2009 it overtook the 164 m Broadgate Tower, making it the third-tallest building in the City of London. By the end of 2009, construction reached the 44th floor, overtaking Tower 42 as the City's tallest, a record it had held for 30 years. Christmas lights were also added to the cranes in December.
On 12 April 2010, Heron International held a 'topping out' ceremony to celebrate the building's structural completion, attended by the Lord Mayor of London. On 22 July 2010, the spire was added, taking the height of the building to 230 metres. In January 2011, the aquarium was delivered and installed.
The Heron Tower will form the centrepiece of Heron International's Heron Plaza development on the site, incorporating new public spaces and a network of squares and gardens. In July 2009, Heron International confirmed that it had signed heads of terms with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts to develop a mixed-use project as a component of Heron Plaza. In January 2011, Heron announced that planning permission for the development had been secured.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Heron Tower|
|Tallest building in the City of London
2010 - Present