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What the Toast Rack Can Learn From the Cheesegrater

What the Toast Rack Can Learn From the Cheesegrater

As plans for the new ΓÇ£Gotham CityΓÇ¥ skyscraper ΓÇô aka the Toast Rack ΓÇô are revealed, we take a look at the lessons to be learned from LondonΓÇÖs other skyscrapers.

London skyscrapers have seen mixed fortunes in recent years but that doesnΓÇÖt seem to have dampened the enthusiasm for building them. But behind every London skyscraper lies a lesson. Will the team behind the Toast Rack take note?

DonΓÇÖt get greedy

YouΓÇÖre building a landmark tower on an enormous scale. YouΓÇÖve got a high-profile tenant ready to take 200,000 sq ft of space. What do you do? If youΓÇÖre the owners of the Shard, you pay off the tenant in the hopes of securing a higher profile, higher paying occupant.

Unfortunately, so far that tenant hasnΓÇÖt emerged, making the biggest story about the Shard its lack of occupants. The towerΓÇÖs epic scale has made for one very big story ΓÇô and not a very positive one. Who wants to launch an empty skyscraper?

Remember the sunshine

All seemed to be going very well over at the Walkie Talkie ΓÇô right until it encountered an unexpected (ahem) problem: sunshine.

London might be better known for its grey skies than its sunbathing opportunities, but scorching sunshine isnΓÇÖt entirely unheard of. And when it bounces off the reflective, concave windows of the Walkie Talkie, it really is scorching ΓÇô reaching temperatures which are capable of melting cars and frying eggs (thank you to the man who put this one to the test).

It seems itΓÇÖs all too easy to get caught up in what youΓÇÖre trying to achieve and lose sight of the bigger picture.

DonΓÇÖt go too far

Originally intended to be the high point in London skyscraper design, the Pinnacle is one building which definitely wonΓÇÖt be living up to its name.

The quirky design for the 288m tower led to it being nicknamed the Helter-Skelter and generated plenty of interest from the design world. Unfortunately, businesses didnΓÇÖt feel quite the same way, and lack of interest from potential tenants forced the developers to hit pause on the project ΓÇô and go back to the drawing board.

A more modest and practical building will now be built on the site ΓÇô not so much Pinnacle as, well, weΓÇÖre not sure yet. WeΓÇÖll let you know when we see the new plans.

Learn from the Cheesegrater

The London skyscraper boom is over. An uncertain financial climate has put companies off taking risks and made corporates wary of ostentatious displays of wealth. But building a skyscraper in London can still be a success, as the Cheesegrater proves. The building is already more than 50% pre-let, despite not being due for completion until next summer.

The developers might have taken a while to come round to the nickname, but Londoners have taken it to their hearts ΓÇô and businesses have been busy signing up to lease space. ItΓÇÖs not the tallest building, it doesnΓÇÖt have the largest floor space and itΓÇÖs not the most outrageous design. But perhaps resisting the urge to be overambitious is the key to the CheesegraterΓÇÖs success.

Now, how will the Toast Rack shape up?

What advice would you give to the team creating the Gotham City / Toast Rack tower? Does London even need another skyscraper?

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Author: | September 23, 2013 | 1 Comment

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