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The Scalpel | City of London | 190m | 39 fl

1283000 Views 2716 Replies 418 Participants Last post by  SE9
So as not to keep cluttering up the Pinnacle thread; W.R. Berkley in talks with Kohn Pederson Fox (KPF) to design a new 40 story tower on 52-54 Lime Street (27 Leadenhall Street). W.R. Berkley are currently based at 40 Lime Street opposite the Lloyds Building and Willis building and have bought the land.

July 11, 2012 11:30 pm
US insurer to scale up European profile - From

Do you reckon they might want to build this on the Pinnacle site? They say next door to Lloyds and I can't think of any other locations?

A large US insurer has struck a deal with the City of London to build its own skyscraper, underlining the rapidly growing presence of international insurers in the Square Mile.

WR Berkley, which has a market value of $5.4bn, is understood to have agreed terms with the City’s planning authorities to construct a 40-storey tower next door to the offices of Lloyd’s of London.

WR Berkley is among the largest providers of insurance to midsized companies in the US. The company is scaling up its operations in Europe, with offices in Germany, Ireland, Spain and Norway. The agreement to build its own skyscraper follows a flurry of deals by US insurers to expand their office space in the centre of London, taking advantage of the shrinking of banks, which have long dominated the City office market.

In January, Aon signed a lease on 191,000 sq ft of office space in the nearby Leadenhall building, under construction and nicknamed the Cheese Grater. Meanwhile, Markel took up a 51,000 sq ft pre-let agreement last month on Land Securities’ 36-storey Walkie-Talkie building.

The building would become one of five skyscrapers under construction in the Square Mile, which, in contrast to the low levels of development outside of the UK capital, has seen a spike in demand for new office space. The buildings are expected to capture some of the demand arising from lease expiries and breaks, expected to hit 3m sq ft a year in the City until 2017.

However, the City is undergoing a transformation in terms of its occupiers. Many of the large investment banks have relocated to Canary Wharf, favouring the wide floor plates and ability to have all of their staff in one building. The cost of office space in the City is also a big driver. Prime office rents in Canary Wharf are at £36 per sq ft a year, compared with £55 per sq ft in the City.

The departure of many traditional occupiers has opened the door for other industries, such as technology, media and professional services businesses.

However, it is the rise of the insurance sector in the City market which has spurred on letting activity during the first half of this year. A recent report from CBRE, the estate agents, said that there are 13 insurers actively searching for a combined 1m sq ft of office space in central London.

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Interesting news - in the midst of the current economic issues, and with some high rise projects in motion, along comes a new investor to build a high rise. Its well situated though the site is tight. The tower appears to help connect the cluster at Bishopsgate with 20 Fenchurch St, also positive. The only negative is that the existing building is a good example of an interwar office building with interesting set backs of the upper floors akin to NYC buildings. Lets hope that the design of the new tower is good.
Glad to learn that the site is on the corner of Lime Street and Leadenhall, and is not 40 Limestreet. The buildings on the site are good quality, and work well with the streetscape, but are not outstanding.
The rendering is included in a property sales document designed to illustrate to potential purchasers the form and scale of redevelopment currently possible. that's all - its simply a schematic prepared by KPF. If the new site owners have subsequently agreed (in principle) a 40 floor office building for the site with the City of London, then they have negotiated very well and significantly increased the development potential and value of the property. It may well be that because KPF were familiar with the site in c.2010m that this may be the reason why they were engaged to prepare a design for a 40 floor high rise.
That rendering is just an old illustration ...
One assumes that planning discussions/negotiations are in process, possibly involving redesign, hence the delays.
Allow 4.5m/floor x 34 = 138m therefore 54m extra, perhaps the first floor is significantly above grade as with 122 Leadenhall, and/or perhaps mechanical spaces are vertically stacked with a spire/finial type element at the top, or perhaps its a very tall pole type element; no doubt we'll find out shortly.
Wow 192 meters! Looks like my massing guestimate was about right. That is insanely tall for a 34 storey building. .
Good to see an image of this proposal. First impression is that it looks interesting, though its important to see how this design looks from various angles as well as how does it work at grade. I assume that the City planners have worked with KPF to ensure a design they will support, so maybe this will move quickly with demolition and sub-surface construction starting in 2013 - a new high rise starting when Leadenhall and 20 Fenchurch Street have topped out.
Wow, really impressive design. Aside from the tall iceberg form, it seems very carefully considered at ground level (diagonal routeways across the block, brilliant view of 122 Leadenhall and Lloyds, continues streetlines of Fenchurch St and Billiter St, nice relationship with neighbouring bdgs, catches midday/afternoon light etc), I like it a lot! Pity that the boxy corner building wasn't acquired and redeveloped too, but overall its thumbs up from me. I hope MOLAS has a good opportunity to do their archaeological investigations, this site is right next to the Roman Forum site so there may some interesting vestiges below.
I like this project too, so am happy.

We just have to wait till Tuesday for the official approval, and has the mayor ever rejected a proposal supported by the City's planning department and planning committee?
Its highly questionable to say that EH is freezing its blue plaque program to save money, even if that is what is announced. The plaquing program is very inexpensive. Rather it suggests that EH have had instructions from central govt to stop the program, presumably due to pressure from the development lobby. Have any significant developments been prevented due to a blue plaque on a heritage building I wonder?
They have just announced that, they do not have enough money to continue with the blue plaque scheme, marking place where prominent people have lived, yet they are still wasting money on their pointless fight against tall buildings.:bash:

Even Mira-Bar Hillel has given up the ghost on fighting tall buildings

EH just lie down and die...please
Good to hear this project is moving forward without spending a decade going through planning or having appeals from EH. As with the Bloomburg site, no doubt part of the demolition and site prep phase includes for an archaeological dig.
I believe its post war, late 40s / early-mid 50s.
These are good exemplars of their type, but not outstanding. There are finer examples of their type elsewhere in London. However the City of London is losing a lot of these good exemplars from the 1930=50s.
WR Berkley seem to be very serious about constructing this tower and don't seem to have any complex financing arrangements to put in place. If there is any stoppages, its due to vacating other buildings or unexpected challenges arising.
Would anyone know if the Portland stone is being salvaged for reuse?
There's always CW for those who prefer a more restrained form of commercial high rise development.
We do now have a curious project stage at a number of projects in London which can be loosely interpreted as "Site Prep", for a project that has PP but not yet the financing for full scale construction. This stage can include demolition/site clearance, excavation/piling/site stabilisation, and can extend to subsurface construction/to actual construction start, best exemplified by the Pinnacle and the huge substructure constructed for Riverside South at CW.

Its up to the mods if they want to create such a place on the forum for projects at this "site prep" stage.
Lower Manhatten/Wall Street used to be more like the City of London, empty and desolate at the weekends. Today with conversion of existing office buildings for residential use etc., the area is more mixed hence more life and activity. In the City of London, aside from the Barbican, a few older smaller buildings have been converted for residential use, and now at the periphery a few residential buildings are under construction (Three Quays), as well as hotels (former Port of London Authority Building), so things are changing, though its still only at the periphery. There are more retail stores and cafes in the City that open at weekends, but its still relatively quiet.
The north elevation looks great, though am not sure if there will be a happy intersection with the building to the east side.
EH are (or were) a complex organization with many dedicated staff, many of which were very interested in modern 20thC architecture as well as older buildings. Yes, there are some within the organization who are against anything tall, and unfortunately they have a lot of influence at the top of the organization, but that is not true of many others, who are very excited by new types of themes, architectural, industrial heritage, transportation, etc.

The recent changes to EH and the creation of Historic England does not bode well. In many respects the cuts have been big and in part to give developers an easier ride. However, the results can be ugly as observed at Kings College. In the meantime, many fine post war 20thC buildings which merit listing and conservation to some degree are simply being allowed to be demolished, for better or worse, including Banque Belge the Aviva building and the Broadgate Centre.
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