From the internationally famous ‘Gherkin’ and ‘Cheesegrater’ towers in the east through to the era-defining newspaper HQs in the west, two walks focusing on architecture are not to be missed. In recent decades, London’s ‘starchitects’ have been locked in competition, each trying to outdo their rivals in constructing epic palaces of steel, glass and sparkle. It’s not an easy battle. Tower blocks are not allowed to interrupt vistas of St Paul’s Cathedral, underground railway lines make it impossible to dig normal foundations, archaeological work can take years and development plans sink into blood, sweat and tears long before they are approved. Along the way, the City found room for a stunning Roman temple and a rooftop cocktail bar with fabulous views. Some of Britain’s most daring buildings lie in the east of the City – others are to be found in the west.
Which planning restriction enforced the unique design of the ‘Cheesegrater’?
The distinctive shape of the ‘Cheesegrater’ (122 Leadenhall Street) was a response to a unique rule that ensures buildings do not obscure the ‘sightlines’ (ie the view) of St Paul’s when seen from specific viewpoints outside the City. By ‘leaning back’ – the Cheesegrater keeps safely out of the way.