The 224m-high Leadenhall Building by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners has topped out, becoming the tallest tower in the City of London financial district. A celebration yesterday was attended by the Major of London Boris Johnson who was characteristically enthusiastic about the scheme: “The Leadenhall Building is the latest landmark to grace London’s iconic skyline, demonstrating our city’s ability to design and construct world-class architecture.
“This ambitious project has created jobs in London and elsewhere across the UK supporting great British manufacturing all over the country. The building’s soaring pinnacle symbolises the confidence in London’s status as a global centre of finance and trade.”
Owned by British Land and Oxford Properties, the Leadenhall Building (affectionately known as The Cheesegrater for its asymmetric shape) is the first major high rise in the UK for Laing O’Rourke and the first UK project for Chinese curtain wall contractor Yuanda. Half of the curtain walling has already been put in place, glinting in the long-awaited summer sunlight. Setting records for UK skyscraper construction, 85% of the building has been constructed offsite and assembled in The City.
The asymmetric ‘cheesegrater’ form of the building preserves sightlines to St Paul’s Cathedral but does cut down on the size of the floor plates. 51% of the building has already been pre-let to Aon and Amlin. The design of the building means it has no central core; 26 passenger lifts therefore pass through the northern core of the tower (painted yellow) with an external steel frame providing lateral stability.