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Leadenhall Building

Leadenhall Building (109)

Construction on the Leadenhall building, popularly known by its nickname "The Cheese Grater" for its characteristic wedge shape, began in the autumn of 2011 and the building was inaugurated in July, 2014, though the official opening did not take place until the 19th of October, 2015, with the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Henry as guests of honour. For its original design and personality it received the award for "Building of the Year in the City of London" in 2015. 

The Leadenhall building is one of several skyscrapers that are transforming the City of London skyline. The current site of the Leadenhall building was formerly occupied by a 54-metre-high, 1960s-style office building, until this was demolished in 2007. In the early 90s an IRA bomb caused serious damage to the structure, and it had to be recoated. And after signing a £16 million contract, it was decided to demolish it and erect a new skyscraper.

Located in the heart of City, very close to St. Paul's Cathedral, its 225 metre height makes it one of the tallest buildings in London. It was designed by British architect Richard Rogers to be located alongside his other famous building, the Lloyd's building, headquarters of the insurance market Lloyd's of London. The latest innovations in construction techniques, a whopping 18,000 tons of steel, 70,000 square metres of glass and 483 km of cable were used in the construction. And the most amazing thing is that it only takes 30 seconds to reach the 45th floor, in other words the lifts climb at a rate of 8 metres per second. It's not surprising that they are the fastest panoramic lifts in Europe. And more curious figures ... construction of this office building created 9800 jobs, a significant figure bearing in mind it was built in the midst of the financial crisis, and required 2,669,586 man-hours of labour in the two years it took to build. 

All this technology, however, did not mean the building would not suffer the occasional mishap, such as that which occurred shortly after its opening (between November 2014 and January 2015), when as many as 3 screws almost a metre in length detached themselves from the outer structure. Luckily there was no loss of life, though the Londoners were understandably alarmed. Truth be told, the citizens of the British capital had already experienced their fair share of scares, having seen the Millennium bridge wobble during its inaugural weekend, or looked on undaunted as the cars parked in the vicinity of the Fenchurch building melted due to a magnifying-glass effect created by its curved façade. 

So don't miss out on the undeniable charm of this building, the architecture of which has been the recipient of an important award, as it already forms part of the history of London.

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