Placeholder Picture

Tall Buildings in EC3

EC3 has some of the best‐known tall buildings in the City ‐ e.g. the Gherkin, the Scalpel, the Walkie Talkie and the Cheesegrater.

Did you know that the City of London leads the world in the extent of its free public spaces at the top of its skyscrapers? Half of the fourteen upcoming tall‐building developments due to be completed by 2026 will have free public viewing galleries and terraces in one district.



120 Fenchurch Street

120 Fenchurch Street

Not the tallest of buildings but a 15‐storey building by architects Eric Parry Associates.

It has a public walkway linking Fenchurch Street and Fenchurch Avenue. The ceiling of the walkway has a wonderful LED display.

There is also a roof garden designed by German landscape architects Latz + Partner which is open to the public and free of charge.

It’s a large and beautifully landscaped garden with a water feature and great views. See Roof Garden Gallery.


20 Fenchurch Street

20 Fenchurch Street

Also known as the Walkie Talkie, this building was designed in 2004 by Uruguayan born architect Rafael Vinoly. It is 38 stories tall and a Sky Garden can be accessed on floor 35 by a dedicated express lift.

Access to the Sky Garden is free but places must be booked in advance. The entrance to the Sky Garden is at the rear of the building.

Like all buildings some people love it, some don’t. The building has a very distinctive shape flaring out from a narrow base. In the summer 2013 the reflected glare from the building blistered paint on buildings in Eastcheap and led to the headline Scorchgate!

See Sky Garden for more information and how to book, and Gallery for views.


80 Fenchurch Street

80 Fenchurch Street

Artist impression of 80 Fenchurch Street (Source: tp bennett)

This is another 15‐storey office building and is based on a conceptual scheme by Foster but refined and extended by tp bennett.

The 45m square site is subdivided into nine bays. The project is due for completion in June 2020.


40 Leadenhall Street

80 Fenchurch Street

Artist impression of 40 Leadenhall Street (Source: Make)

Like the Willis building this is another stepped building which is planned but not yet built for Leadenhall Street. It will be 34 stories and has been designed by architects Make.

The building is made up of several stepped blocks and has been designed to remain out of sight from Fleet Street and the ceremonial route to St Paul’s Cathedral.


The Leadenhall Building

The Leadenhall Building

Situated at 122 Leadenhall Street, it is a 50‐storey tower opposite Lloyd’s of London and was completed in 2014. The building has a distinctive shape being flat at the back but angled at the front, giving it a triangular look, which has led to its nickname of the Cheesegrater.

The building had to meet the requirement to respect views of St Paul’s Cathedral from Fleet Street. The tower’s design ensures that from this key vantage point the cathedral’s dome is still framed by a clear expanse of sky.

Both the 12 storey Lloyd’s building and The Leadenhall Buidling were designed by the Richard Roger’s practice known as Rogers, Stirk, Harbour and Partners.


150 Leadenhall Street

150 Leadenhall Street

Artist impression of 150 Leadenhall Street (Source: Wilkinson Eyre)

Located on the corner of Bishopsgate and Leadenhall Street will be a new 50‐storey office tower that will have retail space at ground level. The building replaces 6‐8 Bishopsgate EC2 and 150 Leadenhall Street, EC3.

Designed by architects Wilkinson Eyre it has been nicknamed Prussian Blue and is currently under construction. Due for completion in 2022.

It will include a free public viewing gallery at level 50 and 961 cycle parking spaces at lower ground level for employees.

52 Lime Street

52 Lime Street

This 42‐storey building has been designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox as a European HQ for US insurer W. R. Berkley and was completed in 2018. It is also known as the Scalpel.

It stands on the south east corner of Leadenhall Street and Lime Street across from Lloyd’s of London on the south west corner and is another building with a very distinctive shape whose angles and planes gives the building a very sharp, clean profile.

The tower leans away from Leadenhall to be invisible behind the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral when approached from the west on Fleet Street. The roofline falls away sharply to the south in recognition of the overall composition of the City cluster.


30 St Mary Axe

30 St Mary Axe

Generally known as the Gherkin, this is a personal favourite. It is 41 storeys and was designed by Foster and Partners who describe it as London’s first ecological tall building. The building was completed in 2003 and received the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stirling Prize in 2004.

Structural engineers Arup, who worked with Foster and Partners, have provided some fascinating information about the construction of the building.

The paved area surrounding the building together with the adjacent Bury Court is often used to site sculptures as part of the City of London’s annual Sculpture in the City exhibition. On Thursday lunchtimes, street food traders can be found alongside the Gherkin.


70 St Mary Axe

70 St Mary Axe

This is another building with a fascinating shape that has been nicknamed Can of Ham. Completed in 2019, it has three floors below ground and twenty‐one above.

The architects are Foggo Associates who designed the building to create a distinctive form in response to strategic local views.


1 Undershaft

1 Undershaft

Source: Eric Parrys

Planning permission was given in 2016 by the City of London for this 73‐storey tower designed by Eric Parrys and nicknamed the Trellis.

Construction has yet to begin and if it goes ahead this will be the tallest building in the City of London. It will also host a Museum of London gallery at the top of the building, alongside interactive learning spaces and London’s highest restaurant.


The Willis Building, 51 Lime Street

Willis Building

Completed in 2017 this 28‐storey building is opposite Lloyd’s of London and was designed by Foster and Partners.

A stepped building of elegant curves. Standing on the opposite side of Lime Street you get a great reflection of the Lloyd’s building. The paved area surrounding the building is often used for Sculpture in the City.

See more information about the Willis Building.


20 Bury Street

20 Bury Street

Artist impression (Source: tulip.com)

Architects Foster and Partners submitted plans in 2018 to build a 305.3 metre‐high visitor attraction to stand next to the Gherkin.

It has been nicknamed The Tulip and if built it would be the second tallest structure in western Europe and will feature a viewing platform with rotating pods. At present, the Mayor of London has objected to it being built on the basis that it spoils the surrounding area.