Befitting such a globally popular and influential city, London has no shortage of skyscrapers; in fact, all five of the UK’s tallest buildings are in the capital. Here is a run-down of these buildings, from the shortest to the loftiest. They don’t include freestanding structures that aren’t strictly buildings, such as transmitting stations; neither do they include towers that are currently planned or under construction. However, these five buildings could all benefit from rope access window cleaning…


The HSBC Tower or Citigroup Tower

Both of these buildings take their colloquial names from the banks occupying them – though the buildings’ official names are, respectively, 8 Canada Square and 25 Canada Square. Both being 200 metres in height, they are tying for the status of London’s fifth loftiest building. However, as the Telegraph explains, the HSBC Tower is not available to enter if you aren’t an HSBC employee or haven’t arranged a meeting with one. The Citigroup Tower is similarly inaccessible.


The Leadenhall Building

This 225-metre building’s above-mentioned official name has arisen as the street was once home to a medieval hall that lead merchants frequented, as Londonist explains. However, an especially memorable nickname for the building is ‘the Cheese Grater’ – and indeed, with its cross-hatched design on a slanted profile, it does resemble that useful kitchen utensil. Alas, unless you visit on a particular open day, you are unable to enter the building as a member of the public.


The Heron Building

At 230 metres, this is the tallest building in the City of London financial district. It is named after not the long-legged bird, but instead developer Heron; that name is itself a truncation from Henry Ronson, father of the company’s owner Gerald Ronson. While the building’s formal name is 110 Bishopsgate, another name that has been used for it is Salesforce Tower. This refers to the structure’s primary tenant, the American cloud computing firm


1 Canada Square

From 1991 until 2010, 1 Canada Square was the country’s tallest building. At 235 metres in height, it remains the most prominent and, thanks to its pyramid-shaped top, probably the most quickly recognisable building on the Canary Wharf estate. This site is so-called because, in the 1930s, the area saw the establishment of a warehouse and quay for use in trading fruit with the Canary Islands. The aforementioned HSBC and Citigroup structures are located on this estate as well.


The Shard

This building’s 309.6 metres make it the tallest building in Western Europe – though, due to Brexit, another building could soon take its current position as the European Union’s loftiest. The Shard is aptly-named, as its pointy shape is akin to a glass shard’s. This distinctive form is also intended to bring to mind church steeples and sail ships of a long-gone historical London.

Here at SAS Rope & Rail, we offer commercial exterior cleaning services which are especially well-suited for helping to remove unsightly dirt even from buildings as tall as these. Our website includes many more details about these services.

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