22 Bishopsgate is a commercial skyscraper under construction in London, United Kingdom. It will occupy a prominent site on Bishopsgate, in the City of London financial district, and is set to stand 278 m (912 ft) tall with 62 storeys. The project replaces an earlier plan for a 288 m (945 ft) tower named The Pinnacle, on which construction was started in 2008 but suspended in 2012 following the Great Recession, with only the concrete core of the first seven storeys. The structure was later subjected to a re-design, out of which it became known by its postal address, 22 Bishopsgate.
Under the original plans, The Pinnacle was to become the second-tallest building in both the United Kingdom and the European Union after The Shard, also in London. The Economic Development Corporation of Saudi Arabia and its development manager, Arab Investments, which largely funded the construction (investing £500 million in it) in return for a majority stake in the structure. However, the build was put on hold due to a lack of additional funding and letting commitments.
In 2013 it was reported that a review of the design and construction process, undertaken by original architects Kohn Pedersen Fox, agents CBRE and the developers, had been completed, with the building's "helter skelter" style exterior set to be retained. In 2015, the site was sold to a consortium led by AXA Real Estate and a re-design with a simpler exterior, ultimately excluding the costly "helter skelter" shape, was submitted for public consultation before application for planning permission.
In April 2016, it was confirmed that property company Lipton Rogers and its joint venture partner, AXA IM – Real Assets, would complete the £1bn development in 2019. At 278 metres, the building was set to be the tallest in the City of London at that time and, due to potential loss of light to surrounding buildings, there had been objections to the development from several parties. However, City of London granted permission after considering the potential benefits of developing the building including the introduction of more floorspace to the area and the creation of new jobs.
In 2017, plans were approved which redesigned the building and reduced its height further to 255 m due to concerns that the cranes used for its construction could interfere with the flight paths of the nearby London City Airport. However, these plans were withdrawn.
The architects of The Pinnacle were Kohn Pedersen Fox and the developer was the fund management company Union Investment. The height of the tower was initially proposed at 307 metres (1,007 ft), but this was scaled down to 288 metres (945 ft) following concerns from the Civil Aviation Authority. The revised design included approximately 88,000 square metres (947,200 sq ft) of office space.
The Bishopsgate Tower, as it was first called, was submitted for planning permission in June 2005 and approved in April 2006. The twisting design of its roof and the curling patterns in the façade were based on various organic forms in nature such as armadillos, mushrooms and seashells, and led to the building being nicknamed "The Helter Skelter". The upper floors were to contain restaurants and the highest public viewing platform in the UK.
The Pinnacle's original design also provided more solar panelling than any other building in the country, with 2,000 square metres (21,500 sq ft) of photovoltaic cells, capable of generating up to 200 kW of electricity. It would also have had a double-layered skin like the nearby gherkin-shaped 30 St Mary Axe, allowing it to respond dynamically to climatic changes and to utilise effective climate control with low energy consumption. To control construction costs, every panel on the tower would be of exactly the same size.
In August 2006 Keltbray began test-piling on site. Demolition began on the smaller of the two existing buildings in November 2006. In February 2007 it was reported that the Bishopsgate Tower had been purchased by Arab Investments, and that the structure would be renamed as The Pinnacle.
In May 2007 it was announced that full funding had been secured and that The Pinnacle was likely to be built speculatively. In June 2007 demolition began on Crosby Court, the larger of the two existing buildings on the site.
In August 2007 Arab Investments signed a pre-construction contract with Multiplex to build the tower.