Its height was first planned to be 183m,
identical to that of the City's current tallest building, Tower
42. According to the developer Gerald Ronson, it would be the
first "six star" office development in the City and would
feature a concierge-style entrance and reception area. An
aquarium spanning five storeys would be located in the upper
floors, along with a restaurant and public viewing area.
The building attracted controversy when
first announced, due to its proximity to St Paul's Cathedral
when viewed from Waterloo Bridge. English Heritage were the most
vocal of the groups 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 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 tower. Heron's revised plans, drawn up by
architect KPF, now proposed a 203-metre tall tower topped by a
40-metre mast. Although the design was largely identical to the
previous scheme, the tower's crown and southern facades were
refined to give the building a more elegant profile.
A smaller neighbouring tower, Heron
Plaza, was also unveiled that would stand around 100m tall.
This would feature nearly 250,000 square feet of retail space.
In January 2006, the revised project was
approved by the Corporation of London.
Skanska, the same company who built 30 St Mary
Axe, was awarded the main site contract, with the steelwork
package assigned to Severfield-Rowen.
In May 2006, preparatory works began
underneath the current building on site. This process involved
the relaying of pipes and wires (including the diversion of a
In June 2007, demolition officially began
Steelwork began to rise
from the basement in October 2008 and is well underway.