We recently paid a visit to two of central London’s biggest construction sites, at Lime Street and New Square (Holborn). Both are progressing well and should be ready next year.
At 125 m, the Willis Building (Foster and mates) will be the tallest new structure in the City since the Gherkin went up a few years back. And it’s coming along nicely. The building, at 51 Lime Street, will eventually comprise three curved sections, resembling a fish’s tail from above (albeit a very strange fish). Already, one of the cores has almost risen to its full height and many of the floor plates have gone in.
This area’s becoming a bit of a Foster/Rogers battleground, with Gherkin and Willis from the former and Lloyds plus the planned Leadenhall Building from the latter. For people as nerdy as us, hears a webcam with a terrific view of the site.
New Street Square is perhaps less interesting (the tallest of several new buildings being only 17 storeys), but seems to be an even bigger construction site. Taking up a large chunk of Holborn near Fetter Lane, the development will see four new ‘cutting-edge’ office blocks to replace a set of particularly grim ’60s woeheaps.
While not heart-stoppingly exciting, the new buildings and public spaces will certainly be an improvement, and include plenty of retail space - something the area clearly lacks. In a nice touch, the developers have cloaked the site in hoarding with lots of quotations from Johnson's dictionary (his house is nearby). Oh, and this one also has a webcam.