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London's latest landmark reaches major milestone as first steel column is installed

London's latest landmark reaches major milestone as first steel column is installed

24 April 2012

The construction of London's latest skyscraper 20 Fenchurch Street took a big step forward on Monday with the installation of the first of the 4,500 steel sections that will make up the building's envelope.

The installation is the first step in building the tower's superstructure and a landmark moment in the construction of the Land Securities and Canary Wharf Group development, which is set to bring much needed new office space to a supply-constrained London market on completion in early 2014.

The occasion was commemorated by executives from Land Securities and Canary Wharf Group who signed their names on the first nine metre column at a ceremony on site today. Engineers will now begin installing the remaining 4,499 steel sections that will make up the superstructure of the skyscraper, using the latest sophisticated computer modelling.

20 Fenchurch Street is one of London's most eagerly anticipated development projects thanks to architect Rafael Viñoly's innovative design. The 160m high building flares outwards from its base so that the larger floorplates are to be found at the higher storeys, delivering both impressive architecture and the large, flexible office space required by today's commercial occupiers.

The unique architecture requires a sophisticated approach to the building's construction. Engineers having already placed approximately 21,000m3 of concrete and 5,000 tonnes of steel to build the skyscraper's foundations and core. When complete, 20 Fenchurch Street will contain over 28,000m3 of concrete, 13,000 tonnes of structural and reinforced steel and approximately 33,000m2 of glass - an area equivalent to more than 4.5 football pitches.

20 Fenchurch Street's steel is being installed by Bury-based contractor William Hare Structural Engineers. All the steel fabrication is being undertaken in the UK at factories in Bury, Scarborough and Wetherby.

As well as earning plaudits for its architecture and innovative construction, the 38-storey building has also won praise for making a contribution to social mobility in the capital through the new Employment Hub sited at the development. With unemployment in London currently at 10%[1], joint venture partners Land Securities and Canary Wharf Group have worked with suppliers and public bodies to create a one-stop-shop offering local people immediate advice on jobs and training opportunities in construction. Since the inception of the Employment Hub, partners across the public and private sectors have helped 20 local people into employment at 20 Fenchurch Street. The project is supporting approximately 3,000 jobs throughout the construction process.

On completion in early 2014, 20 Fenchurch Street will bring 675,000sq ft of office space to the London market at a time when up to 3m sq ft occupiers' leases per annum are expected to expire or see breaks potentially exercised and few new developments are due to be delivered to meet demand. Each floor will offer world class flexible office space with 360° views of London, designed to appeal to a range of potential tenants.

Colette O'Shea, Head of Development, Land Securities' London portfolio, said:

"Developments like 20 Fenchurch Street are central to the City of London's appeal as one of the world's greatest business hubs. Rafael Viñoly's cutting-edge design, which is innovative yet sympathetic to its historic surroundings, and the development's flexible office space are set to make 20 Fenchurch Street the right building for the City delivered at the right time, given the lack of supply set to hit the London market in the next few years."

Cormac MacCrann, Executive Director of Canary Wharf Contractors Limited, said:

"Just a year into construction, 20 Fenchurch Street is already an exciting addition to London's skyline. Today's announcement marks a significant milestone in the construction of this landmark skyscraper, as the team continue the great progress made so far in delivering the project as planned in early 2014."


For further information, please contact:

Rob Bartlett / Kev O'Sullivan

Blue Rubicon on behalf of Land Securities

Tel: 020 7260 2700


John Garwood / Hamish McDougall

Canary Wharf Group plc

Tel: 020 7418 2326


Donal McCabe/ Naomi Curtis

Land Securities Group plc

Tel: 020 7024 5460/ 5411