Race narrowed down to shortlist of three firms

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KPF is understood to have won a competition to reimagine the HSBC tower in Canary Wharf

KPF is understood to have won an architectural competition to reimagine the HSBC tower in Canary Wharf which the banking giant is planning to move out of by 2027.

Building Design understands the practice behind the Heron Tower in the City of London has pipped Foster & Partners and rising stars 3XN, the Danish architect behind 2 Finsbury Avenue, to the work.

The final three are believed to have been whittled down from a longlist of more than 15 practices.

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Source: Shutterstock

The HSBC tower was completed in 2002 by Canary Wharf Contractors and is part of a cluster of high-rises at the Docklands estate

The news is a blow to Fosters, the practice behind the original design on which construction work began 25 years ago before being completing in 2002.

Both landlord Canary Wharf Group and KPF declined to comment.

Earlier this year, Canary Wharf Group asked several practices to come up with proposals for the 45-storey building.

Last summer, HSBC said it would be moving out of its global headquarters building – which at one stage was home to 8,000 workers – and into smaller offices in the City, reflecting post-pandemic working practices and higher borrowing costs.

The Qatar Investment Authority, which along with Multiplex owner Brookfield, co-owns Canary Wharf Group, is looking at alternatives to office space at the tower with proposals believed to include apartments and a hotel.

The group is also looking at a wider overhaul for the entire estate and is drawing up frameworks of firms across a range of disciplines including cost consultants and project manager to help it come up with ideas and plans.

HSBC is moving from the tower at 8 Canada Square into the Panorama St Paul’s development at 81 Newgate Street being built by Mace.

The 1980s building, a former BT head office, was 10 storeys high when completed but is being remodelled under plans also being drawn up by KPF.

The HSBC tower has 1.8m sq ft of floor space with any refurbishment set to run into hundreds of millions of pounds.

Elsewhere on the estate, Overbury is overhauling Citi’s Canary Wharf headquarters in a deal which could end up being the firm’s biggest ever.

The US investment bank is refurbishing its 42-storey office tower at 25 Canada Square, completed in 2001 to a design drawn up by César Pelli & Associates, which has an official value of £100m. But such is the size of the job the eventual cost is set to be more than £400m.

Other financial firms to have recently committed to remaining in Canary Wharf include Barclays, which is staying until 2039, and Morgan Stanley which is remaining until 2038 at least.