05 October 2016
The judges said “It is fair to say that this project might just be in a league of its own”.
Graham Stirk, Senior Partner, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners says “We are delighted that British Land and Oxford Properties are the recipients of this award. Our congratulations goes out to them.”
Also,The Leadenhall Building lifts installation were shortlisted for the British Council of Offices Best Design Innovation Award 2016.
This development, in the heart of The City, is a marvellous addition to both the skyline and the streetscape. Its overall success is just reward for the long term endeavour of those that have delivered this iconic space. The Leadenhall Building represents a significant undertaking on a global perspective and its commercial achievement should be judged likewise.
The design process began in 2001 and, with a few pauses for reflection along the way, the building was open for business in 2015 and met with an abundance of well-deserved international acclaim. Despite book-ending one the worst financial crises the western world has ever experienced, it is fully let, this commercial success, proving a shrewd investment for the joint venture behind it and a potent symbol of inspiration for the City of London. It has created innovative public space and collected an affectionate nickname – ‘the Cheesegrater’ - the ultimate popular accolade. Of utmost importance is that it has become a great place to work for around six thousand people.
The building is deceptively simple, but its striking form is the result of the elegant resolution of a myriad of issues, including the protection of the views of the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral. Off-site fabrication has brought significant social, economic and build-quality benefits. Fifty rectangular floors, that reduce in depth, back onto a separate very high speed lift bank/core, that doubles as public artwork.
The offices house a wide range of occupants, reflecting the fluid nature of City commerce. The ultra-rational floorplans support a varied approach to fit out and the scheme’s designers, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, show how they think it should be done in their own studio on level 14.
The open space at ground level creates a pedestrian route while also delivering a public setting for the equally iconic Lloyds building opposite. Viewed across London, the project more than holds its own in the ‘City Cluster’, whilst viewed from the base it makes a contribution as an inventive multi-storey, public open space expanding the surrounding public realm. It is fair to say this project might just be in a league of its own.