urban75 blog

Photos: London’s Cheesegrater skyscraper topped out and due to open next year

Currently under construction but nearing completion is this striking new skyscraper at 22 Leadenhall Street.

Designed by Richard Rogers and developed by British Land and Oxford Properties, the building features a distinctive tapered glass façade on one side, implemented to preserve a protected view of St. Paul’s Cathedral from Fleet Street.

Such is the angle of the wedge shape that each floor is 75cm less on the southern side than the one below it.

Known as ‘ The Cheesegrater’ on account of its distinctive wedge shape, Peter Rees, chief planning officer of the City of London, claims to have originated the name, telling The Guardian:When I first saw a model of the building, I told Richard Rogers I could imagine his wife, Ruthie, using it to grate parmesan. I don’t think he was too happy, but it stuck.

Topped out last month and due to open next year, the 225 m (737 ft)-tall Leadenhall Building will hold 48 floors and offer 908,730 sq ft of floor space (which isn’t a great deal of space, given its height).

The building seems to have quickly picked up pre-let agreements, with 51% of the space snapped up, with the largest chunks going to Man Utd shirt sponsors Aon, who are shifting their global HQ from Chicago, USA, and by underwriting firm Amlin.

Unusually, the skyscraper is jacked 30 metres up in the air at the base, providing a large, quasi-public  space beneath, complete with lawns, trees, cafes, benches and paved areas (see render below).

The Cheesegrater rising behind the Bank Of England. If you ignore the Heron Tower’s spire, it’s the  the tallest building in the Square Mile and will cost an estimated £340m.

Skyscraper News describes the building style as Structural Expressionist, which is a new one on me.

Formerly occupied by a dour 14-storey 1969 tower block, the site was cleared by December 2009 and British Land had originally aimed to complete the scheme by 2011, but the project stalled due to the financial crisis.

Revived in October 2010, it’s on track for opening in 2014.

The Gherkin reflected on to the Cheesegrater.

Steel trusses at the narrow top of the tower.

From left to right: the Walkie Talkie, Cheesgerater, The Heron and The Gherkin towers.

View from Brixton Hill.

How the tower compares to other London skyscrapers [from skyscraperpage.com].

More:  Discuss The Cheesegrater on urban75 forums

[Official specs for the building]