Behind the Scenes : 22 Bishopsgate
Updated: Oct 27
Tuesday, 12 October 2021
It is always a pleasure to experience the physical manifestation of one’s endeavours, particularly after such a long break away from being able to move around freely, let alone visit buildings, but it was even more exciting to be afforded the opportunity to tour the new 22 Bishopsgate, currently the pinnacle of the City’s famed cluster, and to be hosted by PLP Architects.
’22 Bish’ was developed by Lipton Rogers and AXA IM Real Assets and comprises 196,950 sqm of mixed use, predominantly office, space in a building of 62storeys and 278 m in height and is surrounded by established tall buildings such as The Leadenhall Building, new ones in construction (8 Bishopsgate) and others to come (1 Undershaft).
We met in the main entrance off Bishopsgate in a lobby that is very human in scale given the quantum of people that will passing through when fully occupied and had the good fortune to bump into Sir Stuart Lipton and Peter Rogers en route to a publicity shoot in the public viewing gallery atop the building. We duly followed in rapid double decker lifts and were greeted with a spectacular triple height space. One can never tire of such views and to be freely available will make it a hugely successful public facility. The chance to look down and see the ‘Nat West’ tower’s branded imprint is very rare as is the reported ability to see the Channel on a clear day and, as with The Shard, one can see the Hornby scale trains and rail lines that help orientate and identify the increasingly polycentric neighbourhoods that describe London’s geography. The lift down took us to grade and the dedicated public entrance off Bishopsgate, adjacent to the main entrance, and scaled to allow for queuing, ticket and security checking.
Then into the guts of the building where we were shown around the 1,699 cycle parking spaces, colour coded (Peter Rogers’ influence made obvious) and ordered at a stadium/airport scale, together with an array of storage solutions and mechanic and spray washing bays and easy access to street level.
Back up again, we were able to enjoy the specially commissioned glass printed art work by Bruce McLean that line each lift car, seemingly humanising the otherwise robotic nature of movement within buildings, and entered the building’s heart; the Market Place (fitted out by Blue Crow), comprising an array of food and drink offer. It was great to see so many people enjoying a relaxing drink after work (it was by now 6.30pm) within the building itself and this area will be a huge success and a testament to the wellbeing movement.
22 Bish will undoubtedly be a huge success and the supporting functions and features make it stand out amongst its peers.
With special thanks to Karen Cook and Amy Holtz from PLP Architecture, as well as Lydia Morrow from Lipton Rogers Developments for an enlightening tour.
Words: Barnaby Collins
City Architecture Forum member,