Rising to a sharp gleaming point in the City of London, the aptly-named Scalpel is another high-profile skyscraper by Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF).
The office building is a striking addition to the capital’s skyline and rises to a height of 190 m (623 ft).The tower was originally named 52 Lime Street but has now formally adopted the Scalpel moniker and is part of a cluster of buildings in the City of London that have weird and wonderful nicknames, like the Cheesegrater, the Can of Ham, the Gherkin, and the Walkie-Talkie.Featuring a distinctive geometric form and reflective glass facade, its design actually has practical merit too, and was conceived to ensure it didn’t ruin the view of St Paul’s Cathedral from Fleet Street and other important vantage points.
To protect the view of St Paul’s Cathedral, the building needed either to be stepped or inclined behind the cathedral’s dome from key vantage points,” explains KPF. “The inclined facade offered a calm silhouette while providing a wider variety of floor plate types and greater efficiencies. The taut, sculptural form reinforces the more formal urban planning interventions at the ground floor, which shape the external space adjacent to the neighboring buildings while holding the building line along Leadenhall Street.”