Leadenhall Building

Narrow streets of the medieval London city matrix were never meant to accommodate glass giants of modern architecture. To see the whole of Leadenhall Building, homonymous to the street it was built in, one has to step back and pick an angle.

The tapered glass tower nicknamed “The Cheesegrater” for its appearance is sharply contrasting the neighboring classical revival two story buildings and small, stone 16th century church of St Andrew Undershaft.

A narrow Ledenhall Street, 400 ft of height difference and thirty years of span stand between this building and the Lloyd’s of London building, the epitome of hi-tech architecture. Incidentally, two buildings are the examples of the same architectural movement, although the new one features less conspicuous features of the style.

Under the glossy skin of the building, visible ladder frame criss-crossed with steel joists give us the hint of the style, but the back of the building shows its actual nature. At the back, its northern, detached core provides vertical movement systems as well as housing for the installations, all of which are orderly stacked, painted yellow, and covered with glass, making the exposition out of utilities and systems a part of the architecture.

The fourth tallest building in London lurks over the skyline of The City showing different faces on each of its sides, perhaps to conform to the vistas desired by planners and perhaps to confuse the urban wanderers finding their way.


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