Could London Get A Double-Cheesegrater Tower?

By M@ Last edited 50 months ago
Could London Get A Double-Cheesegrater Tower?

The City of London's idiosyncratic skyline could get another distinctive tower, according to an intriguing article in Architects' Journal. The proposal, by Avery Associates, would see a 270 metre building — taller than anything currently existing in the Square Mile — on the site of the St Helen's tower.

The tower follows the sloping profile of the neighbouring Cheesegrater building*, leaning back so as not to block sightlines to St Paul's. The opposite face would slope to the same gradient, creating a structure whose upper floors would look something like a Janus Cheesegrater.


Various images of the tower can be found on the original article, and are reproduced on a forum thread on At this stage, the tower remains a vision, with no funding or planning permission, but it is prompting plenty of discussion.

The Cheesegrater-aping profile is being heralded as a "contextual tower", fitting in with its lofty neighbours rather than attempting to out-flourish them. There's a problem with this, though. The tower could not be completed for many years, by which time the skyline might already look very different (the under-preparation Scalpel building, for example, would largely block the view shown above). Can a building be contextual with its surroundings when those surroundings are ever changing?

The Cheesegrater (left) and St Helen's tower (right). The latter would be demolished for this new scheme.

*Which, incidentally, is now in the A-Z as "The Cheesegrater", conferring some kind of authority on the nickname of 122 Leadenhall.

Last Updated 12 January 2015