52 Lime Street, AKA ‘The Scalpel’, is a striking 190-metre office tower in the historic heart of the City of London. A sustainable building, it has achieved BREEAM ‘Excellent’.
Conceived as a sympathetic addition to the London skyline, it was designed with particular regard to views of London’s iconic St Paul’s Cathedral. The Scalpel leans away from St Paul’s, as does the neighbouring Leadenhall Building. Together, the paired but mirrored gestures make for a theatrical urban conversation that has set a precedent for responding to the City’s protected views. The simple geometric form is reinforced by partially-reflective glass and bright metallic fold lines, the reflective façade acting as a foil to neighbouring buildings and protected landmarks.
Interior spaces, such as the double-height entrance lobby, lift lobbies, lift interiors and washrooms, feature timeless modern design and detailing, using a palette of high-quality natural materials. The sculptural limestone staircase was developed in close collaboration with a stone mason and a Barrisol ceiling, to the triple-height atrium above the escalators, emulates natural daylight.
Clean contemporary design has been integrated with a state-of-the-art building management system to create a highly-efficient office. An off-set core allows the building to step back, creating large open-plan floorplates, and twin lifts running in the same shaft enable swift movement throughout the building.
Provision for a restaurant at basement level, plus retail and café uses on the ground floor, will activate the public realm. At street level, The Scalpel has enabled improvements to pedestrian movement, creating a new public plaza. A sculpture by Joel Perlman has been installed in the plaza and the façade also incorporates four historic stone relief panels, produced by the artist James Woodford in the 1950’s.
Additional Credits: Gleeds, Arup, WRBC Development UK Limited