St Helen’s Building London photos, Commercial Union City skyscraper design, Location, Date, British capital architecture images

St Helen’s Building London

Tall Structure in the City of London design by GMW Architects, England, UK

post updated 17 February 2024

Former Aviva Tower

Date built: 1969

Design: GMW Architects

Location: City of London

St Helen’s Building and the Gherkin tower:
St Helens Building London, Aviva Tower
photo © Nick Weall, taken on 9 June 2009

post updated 27 Feb 2021 ; page updated 3 Jul 2014

St Helen’s Building

Previously known as the Commercial Union building

Damaged in the Bishopsgate bombings by Irish terrorists

Design Influence: Mies van der Rohe

St Helen’s Building + Gherkin tower:
St Helen's Building, Aviva Tower City of London
photo © Nick Weall, 9 Jun 2009

Height: 118m / 387 ft (34m higher than Lloyds Building)
Storeys: 23
Address: 1 Undershaft, City of London, London EC3

St Helen’s was previously known as the Aviva Tower or the Commercial Union building. It is a commercial skyscraper in the City of London, standing 118 metres (387 ft) tall and has 23 floors.

The postal address is No. 1, Undershaft, though the main entrance fronts onto Leadenhall Street, in the City of London financial district. The building was designed by the Gollins Melvin Ward Partnership in the international style.

St Helen's Building St Helen's Building London
photographs © Adrian Welch

The stark rectilinear geometry and detailing of the building was influenced by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and is reminiscent of his Seagram Building in New York City. It was built by Taylor Woodrow Construction as one of only four high-rise buildings in London using a top-down engineering design where the lower office floors are suspended from above rather than supported from below.

In 1992, the building was heavily damaged in the Baltic Exchange bombing carried out by the Provisional IRA, as a result of which it was substantially renovated.

Location: 1 Undershaft, London EC3 , England, UK

London Buildings

Contemporary London Architecture

London Architecture Designs – chronological list

Architecture Tours in London by e-architect

London Architecture Offices

London Architecture

St Helens Square – news
Gillespies submits plans for redesign of St Helen’s Square in the City of London
St Helen’s Square City of London
image from Gillespies
Plans for a redesigned St Helen’s Square in the heart of the City of London. This key public space lies at the historic junction of Leadenhall Street and St Mary Axe, and offers the third largest open space in the City of London (3,325 sqm).

St Helen’s Building London o wikipedia.

Ciy of London Property Design

Contemporary Ciy of London Property Designs – recent architectural selection from e-architect below:

Key Buildings close by to St Helen’s Building:

60-70 St Mary Axe
Design: Foggo Associates Architects
60-70 St Mary Axe Skyscraper near St Helen's Building
image courtesy of the architects
60-70 St Mary Axe Building
This large City property is being developed by TIAA Henderson Real Estate, and is expected to comprise more than 277,570 sqft of offices across 24 floors, with the ground floor earmarked for retail space.

1 Undershaft Tower
Design: Eric Parry Architects
1 Undershaft Skyscraper in London by Eric Parry
image : DBOX, courtesy Eric Parry Architects
1 Undershaft Tower City of London
This tower building is due to become the second tallest building in western Europe after the Shard. It will include a free public viewing gallery and ‘London’s highest restaurant’. The development is for Singaporea developers Aroland Holdings.

The Scalpel
Design: Kohn Pederson Fox – KPF
The Scalpel Tower Lime Street
image courtesy of the architects
The Scalpel City of London Skyscraper

122 Leadenhall Street
Design: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners – RSHP
Former Post Office building near St Helen's Building
image © Adrian Welch
122 Leadenhall Street

Lloyds Building
Design: Richard Rogers and Partners (since renamed RSHP – see above building)
Lloyds Building opposite St Helen's Building
photo © Nick Weall
Lloyds Building

30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin)
Swiss Re Building

Tower 42
Tower 42

Willis Building
Willis Building

Bank of England, Threadneedle Street
Bank of England

City of London Buildings

London Buildings

Comments / photos for the St Helen’s Building LondonAviva Tower design by GMW Architects in the City page welcome.