The Pinnacle – Helter Skelter

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The Pinnacle London

Helter Skelter Tower: Skyscraper Building Development, England – design by KPF

30 + 15 Jun 2015

The Pinnacle – Helter Skelter

Helter Skelter Replacement

The first images of 22 Bishopsgate London – the PLP-designed replacement for KPF’s abandoned Pinnacle tower in the City of London – have been revealed, reports the AJ.

22 Bishopsgate Pinnacle tower

Height: 278m

Floors: 62 storeys

Area: 130,000 sqm of office space

22 Bishopsgate images by Hayes-Davidson

22 Bishopsgate City of London tower

The visuals have been released as part of a public exhibition ahead of a planning application for the scheme being submitted later this summer.

22 Bishopsgate City of London

The new proposals come after the stalled site was taken over by French fund manager Axa Real Estate and development partner Lipton Rogers in a £500m deal last February.

Pinnacle London Tower design

Opinion of the 22 Bishopsgate London tower design seems fairly negative, here are selected views from the

“I would suggest everyone get down there and give them your feedback – personally this feels a wasted opportunity. The Pinnacle had panache, soar and status, this is an overbloated office block designed to make money – not to improve or excite the lives of those living and visiting London. Go back to the drawing board and come up with a scraper worthy of London, one to rival the Gherkin and the Shard.”

“I think this is much better than the Pinnacle, there need to be some normal-ish looking buildings in the city, not all new bits of London can be more architectural dickwaving.”

“I like the free viewing gallery but otherwise this is uninspiring”

“Only the developer wants the building this BIG in its location. The City needs something modest in that location. The building ruins the view from the Bank station towards Royal Exchange, which should be one of the images to be shown in the exhibition.”

22 Bishopsgate London

At 278m-tall this proposed skyscraper would be 10m / one storey shorter than the Pinnacle tower.

The scheme would provide 130,000m² of office space – increasing the floor space of the Helter Skelter by more than 25%.

A public viewing gallery is located at the top plus a two-storey public restaurant and bar, a conference venue, medical centre, library, a wellness suite, and specialised sports facilities.

22 Bishopsgate London tower

Project Architect: Karen Cook, PLP co-founder, ex-KPF

Pinnacle tower in the City of London

5 Mar 2015
22 Bishopsgate London Skyscraper – news update

20 Feb 2015
Helter Skelter London
Julia Kollewe in the Guardian reports yesterday that,

“The partially built Pinnacle building is to be revived to become the tallest tower in the City of London – but without the elegant twisting design at the top that earned it the nickname “the Helter Skelter”.

The Pinnacle, as seen from Waterloo Bridge, forms the apex of the emerging cluster of tall buildings in the City of London:
The Pinnacle - Helter Skelter
image : KPF and Cityscape

After months of negotiations, a consortium led by Axa Real Estate has clinched a £300m deal to buy the site near Liverpool Street station in the Square Mile. The building became known as “the Stump” when construction stopped abruptly three years ago.

Until now called the Pinnacle, the building will be renamed 22 Bishopsgate. Its design has undergone radical changes to save money. The office tower will be 60 storeys rather than 64, and the expensive curved-glass panels at the top are to be scrapped.

Aeria view of 22 Bishopsgate London looking south east towards the River Thames (Tower Bridge on right, Canary wharf beyond to left):
The Pinnacle - Helter Skelter London
aerial picture : public domain

It will however be the tallest building in the financial district at 262m, overtopping the nearby Heron Tower at 231 metres tall (758ft).”

Website: The Pinnacle Helter Skelter Tower – London skyscraper building

14 Mar 2013

The Pinnacle Skyscraper

Alternative plans for The Pinnacle skyscraper are being formed by various architects offices.

Aerial View:
The Pinnacle
image : KPF and Cityscape

Helter Skelter Building London

Progress on the £1 billion skyscraper stopped 14 months ago.

Ken Shuttleworth of make architects told The Guardian the original tower proposal was ‘too complicated to build because each piece of glass is a different size’.

City planning officer Peter Rees said: ‘The Pinnacle, or Helter-Skelter as I prefer to call it, was one of the last of the era of wacky buildings.

A proposal by Lipton Rogers – the new developer launched by Sir Stuart Lipton and former Stanhope director Peter Rogers (brother of architect Richard Rogers) to focus on affordable office developments – is being formulated.

Close up : Scheme B – Waterloo Bridge, South Viewing Plaque ; Close up : Aerial View

The Pinnacle London skyscraper The Pinnacle skyscraper
images : KPF and Cityscape

There is an element of posturing here, a chance for architects to showcase their practices, but Arab Investments are most likely to continue with a reduced cost design variation but with the same development team ie contractor Brookfield Multiplex.

31 + 30 Oct 2012

Helter Skelter Skyscraper

Design: KPF

Status: on site

Height: 288m high / 72 levels above ground, approx.

Approx. value: £1bn

New photos from 12 Nov 2012:

Pinnacle Building Pinnacle Building London Helter Skelter Building
photos © Adrian Welch

Contractor: Brookfield Construction (UK)

Financial Backer: Sedco, Saudi Arabia

Key attribute: to be tallest skyscraper in London’s financial district

BD report today that there is some movement on this major London skyscraper, ie that the architects are loking to reduce costs on The Pinnacle to accelerate progress. We feature some exclusive photos below of the project on site.

Upon completion in 2015 The Pinnacle will be the tallest skyscraper in the City of London, beating both the current tallest – Heron Tower – and the soon-to-be-tallest – The Cheesegrater.

The site for The Pinnacle is in the heart of the City, at 22-38 Bishopsgate, next to Richard Roger’s Leadenhall Building, nicknamed the The Cheesegrater, which is making good progress and is roughly half way up its full height. This cluster of buildings is ‘fighting back’ against Canary Wharf, and winning in both design terms and it terms of building numbers. With the Walkie Talkie Building and 122 Leadenhall Street joining the existing Heron Tower, 30 St Mary Axe, Willis Building, St Helen’s Building, Tower 42 and Lloyds Building (now appearing quite low!) there is a mass of office space to counteract the draw out to the Isle of Dogs, which looked so persuasive at the start of the nineties.

Editor – Adrian Welch.

The stalled construction of The Pinnacle has become the subject of a legal dispute. Brookfield Construction (UK), the contractor, is suing the developers alleging breach of contract and non-payment of fees. Many companies are reluctant to sign pre-let deals that make such speculative schemes viable, hence the funding issues.

Work on The Pinnacle building stopped in Autumn 2011 after the developer struggled to secure the finance to continue the project. It was the second time construction had halted after an earlier delay in 2011. The tower core has been built to just seven storeys and Brookfield has left the site.

The aim is for The Pinnacle to gain an ‘Excellent’ Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) rating. The Pinnacle incorporates a number of environmental systems including heat recovery, high-efficiency plant, low-energy cooling systems and 1,500sqm of photovoltaic cells incorporated into the unitized cladding panels that wrap around the spiral collar of the tower.

30 Jun 2011

The Pinnacle Construction

Construction work is due to start in the next week on this major London skyscraper designed by KPF.

The 64-storey structure, nicknamed the ‘Helter Skelter‘ has only got up to ground level.

The development is by Arab Investments and is due to complete somewhere between 2012 and 2014.

11 Jan 2011

The Pinnacle

Latest photos from the weekend of The Pinnacle tower by KPF: cranes and core rising.

The Pinnacle The Pinnacle London The Pinnacle Tower London
tower photographs © Nick Weall

The groundwork for ‘The Cheesegrater‘ is in the foreground, with The Pinnacle behind:
The Helter Skelter
tower photo © Nick Weall

The Pinnacle – Helter Skelter

London, UK


Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)

Nicknamed the Helter Skelter Tower

Height: 288m high (previously projected to be 305m high)

Storeys: 60

The Pinnacle – Description

Spiralling 288 meters (941 feet) upward from its base, the Pinnacle tower will form the apex of an emerging cluster of tall buildings in the centre of London’s financial district. Designed to make substantial contribution to the public realm, the project involves reopening a ground-level pedestrian passageway closed to pedestrians by a previous building on the site since the 1980s and linking a number of important public spaces along Bishopsgate and St. Mary Axe.

Interior view:
The Pinnacle interior

The tower’s complex tapered geometry-resolved through advanced computational parametric modeling-comprises inwardly inclined planar surfaces, which are linked by conical surfaces. The design of the entrance canopy at its base responds to the immediate context, creating a zone at the foot of the tower similar in height to nearby buildings. The entrance also signals the historic public right-of-way. The configuration of the entrance evolved during numerous wind-tunnel tests, iterative processes used to find a form that could provide an acceptable pedestrian environment.

Scheme B – Waterloo Bridge, South Viewing Plaque:
The Pinnacle London
image : KPF and Cityscape

Sustainable systems are also integral to the tower’s design. Its aerodynamic shape, for example, improves the performance of the ventilated façade. The façade is made of two layers of clear glass: an inner, sealed (weatherproof and thermally broken) skin and an outer, un-insulated “snakeskin” layer made of repetitively sized, overlapping rectangular glass panels. The gaps between panels allow air to flow into the cavity and permit operable windows ventilate the offices. The outer layer of glass protects against the wind.

View from Threadneedle Street:
The Pinnacle tower London
image : KPF and Cityscape

The Pinnacle London Building Information

Client: The Pinnacle No.1 Ltd, c/o Arab Investments Ltd

Type: Office building

Size: Office – 90,000m² / 970,000ft² ; Retail – 3,000 m² / 30,000 ft²

Status: Under Construction


The Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Award (2004)

AIA New York Chapter Design Awards, Architectural Excellence (2003)

AIA New York Chapter Project Design Award (2001)

Project: The Pinnacle

Location: 22-38 Bishopsgate, London EC2, England

Completion: Estimated 2013

Architect: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates – KPF

Team: Renos Charitou, Efrat Cohen, Karen Cook, Stylianos Dritsas,

Jon Neville-Jones, Rob Peebles, Daniel Perez, Lee Polisano, Karl Sharro, Paul Voysey, Wayne McKiernan, Tim Yu, Daniel Moore, Clara Doty, Dennis Hill, Karthik Ramamoorthy, Alanna Zie, Kornelia Krueger, Gustav Fagerstrom, Jacquie Bignell, Cindy Liu, Lolita Mickuviene

Development Manager: City Offices LLP / Stanhope

Planning Consultants: DP9

Investment & Leasing Advisors: Savills

Structural Engineers: Arup

MEP Engineers: Hilson Moran

Lift Consultants: Jappsen and Stangier

Other Consultants: Georg Penker (Landscape)

Emmer Pfenninger Partner AG (Cladding)

Reef (Access – Maintenance/Cleaning)

Arup (Fire / Wind / Extreme Events / Mobility Impaired Persons Access)

GDA (Security)

Gordon Ingram (Rights of Light)

The Pinnacle London architect :KPF

To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.

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The Pinnacle London

Kohn Pedersen Fox

Another London skyscraper by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF):

Heron Tower

Heron Tower

image : Cityscape

Key Buildings by KPF

ACC Tower Philadelphia

Shanghai WFC Tower

Comments / photos for The Pinnacle LondonHelter Skelter Tower – Architecture page welcome

The Pinnacle Building – Helter Skelter Tower

Website: Skyscraper Architecture