London already has the "Gherkin" and will soon add to its culinary inspired buildings, the "Cheese Grater". Also known as the Leadenhall Building, the triangular-shaped skyscraper is designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners and will feature an energy efficient, double-glazed facade. Construction of the tower originally began in 2007, but was put on hold during the credit crunch. It is now set to resume.
The 50-story tower opposite Lloyd’s of London will rise to 224.5 m (802 ft) in the shape of a leaning ladder. Construction has only barely begun and the building is already being referred to as the “Cheese Grater” due to the obvious grater-like shape. A significant amount of engineering has gone into the design, which includes a structural steel megaframe and a core structure on the north that supports the floors and holds utilities and services.The base of the tower is inverted to create a large, shaded public plaza complete with shops and restaurants.
The lean-to tower enjoys a sunny southern aspect, an amenity that is exploited for passive solar heating as well as daylighting. At the same time, the envelope has been designed to control the amount of sun entering the building so as to not overheat the interior and avoid glare. The high-performance facade features an internal layer of double-glazing, which forms a cavity incorporated into the structural frame. Vents incorporated into the glazing system allow outside air to enter and discharge from the cavity. Additionally, blinds in the cavity automatically adjust to limit unwanted solar gain and glare.