One may argue I’m being a bit harsh, but of the thousands of buildings designed and proposed by architects each year, only a handful get it right.
Here in The Leadenhall Building, or Cheesegrater if your flippant, or TLB if you’re given to abbreviation, the architect Graham Stirk of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (rsh-p), has produced what may become his crowning glory as St Paul’s Cathedral had become to Sir Christopher Wren, whose masterpiece has had a direct design implication on The Leadenhall Building.
Putting aside the statistics readily available on The Leadenhall Buildings website, it is the social and visual impact of this building that will be its ongoing legacy.
At its base is a seven story high canopied open space (devised into four floors), offering pathways, eateries and respite to travelers. This open area also has the effect of elevating the building, which remains visually tied to the ground by coated steel supports. As you ascend into the fiscal cathedral that is The Leadenhall Building, escalators deliver you to the second floor main entrance lobby where the visual impact continues with the large lobby area and epic steel uprights supporting the tallest building in the City of London’s square mile (2014).
The building towers over all that surround it, including the now grade-1 listed Lloyd’s Building by Richard Rogers, of rsh-p, whose visionary design prepared the way for immediate acceptance of what would have been considered too severe a structure if built in 1986.
Another link to The Lloyd’s Building is the fact that the Leadenhall Building’s lifts, and for the most part toilets and other services, are set apart from office spaces. These are housed in the North Column. This north-facing column runs up the rear of the building allowing the maximization of office floor space, and minimizes interruption due to service maintenance. The lift lobby being encased in glass offers additional views out onto neighboring buildings. Again, like The Lloyd’s Building, the lift walls are constructed of glass and as the velocity impresses you, you’re gifted with breath taking views over London.
With the number of new skyscrapers in and around the square mile, The Leadenhall Building has set a new milestone and vision of providing protected areas for the ‘man-in-the-street’, while appeasing ‘financers-in-the-tower’.
– A full set of these images are available @ ribapix.com
– Read article @ architecture.com
See more pics here