Tuesday, 7 August 2007

YesBut bottom up

There are a number of “star” buildings on the City of London skyline: St Paul’s Cathedral and representing modern architecture The Swiss Re Centre, 30 St Mary Axe, known affectionately as “The Gherkin”. But the building which is the current centre of attraction is the immediate neighbour of the Gherkin, but very soon will no longer exist.

It’s the very nature of its disappearance that’s making it such a show-stopper. How do you demolish a building without knocking it down or blowing it up?

You demolish it from the bottom up!!! But why? The Leadenhall Building, 122 Leadenhall Street was constructed by hanging all the floors from a load bearing beam located in its roof. If normal demolition methods were used - removing the top floor first - the building would have collapsed.

You can click on the photo on the right to read the details about the demolition, including the removal of a bank vault in the lower basement, with concrete walls 1.5 metres thick and steel plates cast inside.

The building is to be replaced by a 48 floor building designed by Richard Rogers. Even before its built its been nicknamed the “Cheesegrater”.

So in a couple of year’s time the Gherkin will be joined by a Cheesegrater, that sounds like a recipe for indigestion.

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