The Leadenhall Building

Structural Designer

Arup

Client Name

British Land | Oxford Properties

Location

London, UK

PRINCIPAL CONTRACTOR: Laing O’Rourke

ARCHITECT: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

STEELWORK CONTRACTOR: Severfield

PRE-CAST CONCRETE SUPPLIER: Explore Manufacturing

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

This 52-storey steel tower demonstrates off-site manufacture and architectural engineering to a degree rarely (if ever) seen in a commercial office building. Its primary structural system is fully external and unclad. Engineering and construction are celebrated throughout the building through the use of clear, integrated systems and legible, refined details. Structural innovations improved construction efficiency, with a solid pre-cast floor system eliminating wet concrete and external lift cores developed as volumetric prefabrications with integrated services. Sideways sway during construction was compensated by making retrospective adjustments to the primary bracing.

Judge's comment:

This tower demonstrates the best ideas in off-site manufacture and architectural engineering. Its primary structural system is fully exposed to view and legible as a series of clear construction components with a distinctive tapered diamond-grid structure. This, in combination with the tapering form on the skyline has earned it the nick-name “cheese grater”.

To counteract the tendency for the asymmetric building to lean to the north by up to 200mm on completion, adjustments were made during construction that would make it lean back the other way. The final tower is reassuringly vertical.

Use of pre-fabrication improved site safety, reduced air pollution and reduced waste.

The building is a pure expression of the structural system and provides inspiration for the public at ground level and on the London skyline. The architects now occupy one of the office floors.