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

1283202 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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:banana: BANANA TIME! 40 storeys!? would that be around 175 - 185m~ surely! :cheers:
I love it, and I'm sure many might agree here, it gives the city cluster a balance to the east like (dare I say it) Minerva would have done. We may have actually got a better design here though!
Brilliant, thanks for sharing!

All the info one could need and summarised nicely (a mod may want to change the first post of this thread to provide a summary):

Kohn Pedersen Fox planning new W.R.Berkley Corporation European HQ

W. R. Berkley Corporation, one of the world’s premier property casualty insurance providers, is in the process of planning a major new European headquarters at 52-54 Lime Street in the heart of London. The company will be funding the 35-storey building themselves, which will draw together all of W. R. Berkley’s London presence into one place. The firm's employees will initially occupy approximately 25% of the building, as other occupiers have already expressed interest in the project.

Designed by multi-award winning international architects, Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), who also designed London's Heron Tower, the planned building is approximately 190m tall, consisting of 35 floors of offices above ground and mezzanine levels with an additional two basement and two roof plant levels. Entrance to the building will be accessed via Leadenhall Street and from a new public square.

The floor plates will range in size from 9,000 sq ft to 22,000 sq ft and are arranged around a side core located to the south side of the building, which optimises floor plate dimensions, limits solar gain and offers views of London to the, north, east, west and south west.

The public space created by this development will include a ‘square’ of approximately 11,000 sq ft, which will complement the existing precinct around the Willis Building. The space will include public seating and planting as well as potential space for public art, and tables linked to a specialist ground floor coffee shop, echoing the 17th century origins of the specialist insurance markets at Lloyds Coffee House.

With Lloyd’s of London and Willis adjacent to the new public square and Aon to occupy 122 Leadenhall Street, W.R. Berkley’s new European headquarters will effectively create a global ‘HQ’ of the insurance industry in London. KPF’s work is being led by Bill Pedersen, one of the world’s most decorated architects and seven time winner of the American Institute of Architects National Honour Award.

William Berkley, founder and chairman of W.R. Berkley Corporation commented: “This major investment is a signal of our belief and confidence in London as the centre of the global insurance market. Creating a new European headquarters on Lime Street, alongside of some of the largest companies in the industry, is an affirmation of the City of London as the centre of the insurance and reinsurance industries.” Work on the project is scheduled to start by 2013 and it is anticipated that the development could be ready for occupation by 2017.

Might I just add one more thing:

kjm_aquarius said:
That's completely boss. :cheers:
When the high-def version of those rear their heads, the BoE backdrop is definately going to be my wallpaper.
It's going to look like a pair of scissor blades when viewed from the west/east!
From yesterday, my first time in the square mile - I thought it rude not to contribute:

_DSC1617 by Thomas Lockwood, on Flickr

_DSC1622 by Thomas Lockwood, on Flickr

_DSC1660 by Thomas Lockwood, on Flickr

_DSC1582 by Thomas Lockwood, on Flickr
The Scalpel | City of London | 190m | 39 fl | U/C

You appear to be correct

I'm afraid not, it is indeed 100 Bishopsgate as Scalavatra points out (the cranes for 70 St Mary's Axe are red, which is a bit of a giveaway). :)
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