One Canada Square (also known as the Canary Wharf Tower) is a skyscraper in Canary Wharf, London. It is the tallest building in the United Kingdom at 244 meters above sea level, or 235 meters above ground level. It is the seventh tallest building in the European Union, and the eleventh tallest building in Europe.
The tower can be seen approximately 30 miles (50 km) away from the following notable observation places:
Gore Hill, Amersham, around 28 miles (45 km) away
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire is over 32 miles (51 km) away
Guildford, around 31 miles (50 km) away
Olympia & York was the original developers for One Canada Square. They chose several architects whom were Cesar Pelli & Associates, Adamson Associates, and Frederick Gibberd Coombes & Partners. After much design consultation, the final design was reached in 1988.
Construction on the tower began in 1988. The tower was topped out on 11th August 1990 when the top piece of the pyramid roof was put in place by crane. In August 1991, One Canada Square was completed and open for business.
In May 1992, the original developers, Olympia & York, went into bankruptcy administration. Ownership of the tower has changed several times ever since.
The official name given to the building is 'One Canada Square'. However it is widely known to Londoners as the 'Canary Wharf Tower'.
The height of One Canada Square has been stated differently from many sources. The official source, Canary Wharf Group, state that the building is 800 feet (244 metres) This is in close agreement with aviation charts issued by the Civil Aviation Authority which show it as 771 feet above ground level, or 806 feet above sea level (244m). Aviation maps show the tallest extreme of the building, irrespective of whether this is an antenna, flagpole, sign or occupied floor.
The pyramid roof lights up in the evenings and can be seen 20 miles away.
40 metres high
30 metres square at the base
made from stainless steel
The pyramid roof contains a maintenance plant. Inside there are:
The maintenance floor above the lobby houses the air systems for the tower. It also houses the spare parts store, containing many spare parts, including many different window panes; marble for the lobby; spare electrical equipment; emergency pumps.
The ground floor, foyer area and basement levels of One Canada Square are open to the general public, having an underground shopping area and a transport interchange from Canary Wharf tube and Docklands Light Railway stations. Access from the basement also links to Canada Square shopping mall.
The floors above the lobby are not opened to the public as they contain offices. The stained glass and the roundel in the foyer were designed by Charles Rennie, and are an original design. The design represents Canary Wharf, Water and Boats, illustrating the signs of London Docklands. The slate used here and in various places around the foyer on site is made from the Welsh slate shelving used in the repositories of the original Banana Warehouse at Canary Wharf.
Despite its status as the United Kingdom's tallest building, there is currently no public observation floor. However, there was an exception during 12 September 1992 - 10 November 1992, when bankruptcy administrators for Olympia & York Canary Wharf Limited opened the 50th floor to the public, in order to maintain interest in Canary Wharf. The scheme was stopped on 10 November 1992 when the IRA attempted to bomb the tower.
One Canada Square was 'named and shamed' for being the top building to leave the lights on unnecessarily. The research carried out by the BBC Inside Out team found that on midnight Sunday, One Canada Square left more lights on than any other building in London.
However, Canary Wharf Group did say that some tenants have staff working around the clock, and 100% of the energy comes from renewable resources.
Perhaps due to superstition, there is no space available for rent on the thirteenth floor and instead the floors are numbered 11, 12, 14, 15. Lifts travelling between the ground floor and 16th floor have a blank button for what should be the 13th floor. People claim that using the fire escape stairs reveals that the floors go straight from the 12th floor to the 14th floor with no space for an extra floor in between. They say that there are no observable signs of an extra floor from within the building or from outside.
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