The 34-storey hospital tower is said to be the tallest in the world. Many regard it as something of an eyesore, especially next to the sleek lines of its new neighbour, the Shard. Others (probably in a small minority) claim a fondness for the building as an exemplar of 1970's brutalism.
The renovation is respectful of the original architecture, while also smartening up the appearance. New aluminium cladding will be applied to the service tower (the bit with the bulky head-shaped protrusion), but the main hospital tower will continue to show its concrete face to the world after a major cleanup. The work will also stop deterioration of building's 40-year old structure and improve its carbon footprint.
A spruce-up for the hospital has been on the cards for years. A previous scheme would have seen the tower wrapped in a scaly new facade like a giant orthogonal fish.