The Willis Building
London
Height
1
To Tip:

Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the highest point of the building, irrespective of material or function of the highest element (i.e., including antennae, flagpoles, signage and other functional-technical equipment).

124.8 m / 409 ft
2
Architectural:

Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the architectural top of the building, including spires, but not including antennae, signage, flag poles or other functional-technical equipment. This measurement is the most widely utilized and is employed to define the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) rankings of the "World's Tallest Buildings."

124.8 m / 409 ft
1 2 The Willis Building Outline
Floors
Above Ground

The number of floors above ground should include the ground floor level and be the number of main floors above ground, including any significant mezzanine floors and major mechanical plant floors. Mechanical mezzanines should not be included if they have a significantly smaller floor area than the major floors below. Similarly, mechanical penthouses or plant rooms protruding above the general roof area should not be counted. Note: CTBUH floor counts may differ from published accounts, as it is common in some regions of the world for certain floor levels not to be included (e.g., the level 4, 14, 24, etc. in Hong Kong).

28
Below Ground

The number of floors below ground should include all major floors located below the ground floor level.

2
Height 124.8 m / 409.4 ft
Floors 28
Official Name

The current legal building name.

The Willis Building
Other Names

Other names the building has commonly been known as, including former names, common informal names, local names, etc.

51 Lime Street West Building
Type

CTBUH collects data on two major types of tall structures: 'Buildings' and 'Telecommunications / Observation Towers.' A 'Building' is a structure where at least 50% of the height is occupied by usable floor area. A 'Telecommunications / Observation Tower' is a structure where less than 50% of the structure's height is occupied by usable floor area. Only 'Buildings' are eligible for the CTBUH 'Tallest Buildings' lists.

Building
Status
Completed
Architecturally Topped Out
Structurally Topped Out
Under Construction
Proposed
On Hold
Never Completed
Vision
Competition Entry
Canceled
Proposed Renovation
Under Renovation
Renovated
Under Demolition
Demolished
Completed, 2007
Country

The CTBUH follows the United Nations's definition of Country, and thus uses the lists and codes established by that organization.

City

The CTBUH follows the United Nations's definition of City, and thus uses the lists and codes established by that organization.

Address
Postal Code
EC3
Function

A single-function tall building is defined as one where 85% or more of its usable floor area is dedicated to a single usage. Thus a building with 90% office floor area would be said to be an "office" building, irrespective of other minor functions it may also contain.

A mixed-use tall building contains two or more functions (or uses), where each of the functions occupy a significant proportion of the tower's total space. Support areas such as car parks and mechanical plant space do not constitute mixed-use functions. Functions are denoted on CTBUH "Tallest Building" lists in descending order, e.g., "hotel/office" indicates hotel function above office function.

office
Structural Material

Steel
Both the main vertical/lateral structural elements and the floor spanning systems are constructed from steel. Note that a building of steel construction with a floor system of concrete planks or concrete slab on top of steel beams is still considered a “steel” structure as the concrete elements are not acting as the primary structure.

Reinforced Concrete
Both the main vertical/lateral structural elements and the floor spanning systems are constructed from concrete which has been cast in place and utilizes steel reinforcement bars.

Precast Concrete
Both the main vertical/lateral structural elements and the floor spanning system are constructed from steel reinforced concrete which has been precast as individual components and assembled together on-site.

Mixed-Structure
Utilizes distinct systems (e.g. steel, concrete, timber), one on top of the other. For example, a steel/concrete indicates a steel structural system located on top of a concrete structural system, with the opposite true of concrete/steel.

Composite
A combination of materials (e.g. steel, concrete, timber) are used together in the main structural elements. Examples include buildings which utilize: steel columns with a floor system of reinforced concrete beams; a steel frame system with a concrete core; concrete-encased steel columns; concrete-filled steel tubes; etc. Where known, the CTBUH database breaks out the materials used in a composite building’s core, columns, and floor spanning separately.

composite
Core
Reinforced Concrete
Columns
Steel
Floor Spanning
Steel
Architectural

Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the architectural top of the building, including spires, but not including antennae, signage, flag poles or other functional-technical equipment. This measurement is the most widely utilized and is employed to define the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) rankings of the "World's Tallest Buildings."

124.8 m / 409.4 ft
To Tip

Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the highest point of the building, irrespective of material or function of the highest element (i.e., including antennae, flagpoles, signage and other functional-technical equipment).

124.8 m / 409.4 ft
Floors Above Ground

The number of floors above ground should include the ground floor level and be the number of main floors above ground, including any significant mezzanine floors and major mechanical plant floors. Mechanical mezzanines should not be included if they have a significantly smaller floor area than the major floors below. Similarly, mechanical penthouses or plant rooms protruding above the general roof area should not be counted. Note: CTBUH floor counts may differ from published accounts, as it is common in some regions of the world for certain floor levels not to be included (e.g., the level 4, 14, 24, etc. in Hong Kong).

28
Floors Below Ground

The number of floors below ground should include all major floors located below the ground floor level.

2
Tower GFA

Tower GFA refers to the total gross floor area within the tower footprint, not including adjoining podiums, connected buildings or other towers within the development.

50,107 m² / 539,347 ft²
Construction Schedule
2005

Construction Start

2007

Completed

Developer
Architect
Design

Usually involved in the front end design, with a "typical" condition being that of a leadership role through either Schematic Design or Design Development, and then a monitoring role through the CD and CA phases.

Structural Engineer
Design

The Design Engineer is usually involved in the front end design, typically taking the leadership role in the Schematic Design and Design Development, and then a monitoring role through the CD and CA phases.

MEP Engineer
Design

The Design Engineer is usually involved in the front end design, typically taking the leadership role in the Schematic Design and Design Development, and then a monitoring role through the CD and CA phases.

Material Supplier

Material Supplier refers to organizations which supplied significant systems/materials for a building project (e.g. elevator suppliers, facade suppliers, etc).

Sealants
Owner
Current
St Martins Property
Past
The British Land Company PLC
Developer
Stanhope; The British Land Company PLC
Architect
Design

Usually involved in the front end design, with a "typical" condition being that of a leadership role through either Schematic Design or Design Development, and then a monitoring role through the CD and CA phases.

Structural Engineer
Design

The Design Engineer is usually involved in the front end design, typically taking the leadership role in the Schematic Design and Design Development, and then a monitoring role through the CD and CA phases.

MEP Engineer
Design

The Design Engineer is usually involved in the front end design, typically taking the leadership role in the Schematic Design and Design Development, and then a monitoring role through the CD and CA phases.

Contractor
Main Contractor

The main contractor is the supervisory contractor of all construction work on a project, management of sub-contractors and vendors, etc. May be referred to as "Construction Manager," however, for consistency CTBUH uses the term "Main Contractor" exclusively.

Mace Limited
Other Consultant

Other Consultant refers to other organizations which provided significant consultation services for a building project (e.g. wind consultants, environmental consultants, fire and life safety consultants, etc).

Façade Maintenance
Lerch Bates Europe
Material Supplier

Material Supplier refers to organizations which supplied significant systems/materials for a building project (e.g. elevator suppliers, facade suppliers, etc).

Sealants

CTBUH Awards & Distinctions

Best Tall Building Europe 2008 Winner

2008 CTBUH Awards

CTBUH Initiatives

Seven Cities Winter Spaces Walking Tour

29 January 2015 - Event

Activity at the CTBUH London Conference: Day Three

13 June 2013 - Conference

Videos

11 June 2013 | London

From London to Chicago: The Willis Group and Tall Buildings

From the 1970’s seminal Willis Faber Dumas Ipswich building, through 51 Lime Street London (winner of the CTBUH 2008 Best Tall Building Europe award), to...

About The Willis Building

51 Lime Street acknowledges that the way in which an office building responds to the context and spirit of the city in which it stands is as fundamental to its success as the acknowledged benefits of natural ventilation, light, open space and a view. As a result, the architects continue their built explorations into new strategies for flexible, column-free office space, but have also created the idea of the “urban room”, where genuine connections to the public realm are established, and the way in which the building “touches” the ground is paramount.

51 Lime Street, also called the Willis Building (after its primary tenant), sits in the heart of the City of London. It lies to the east of Richard Rogers’ 1986 Lloyds Building and responds to this unique location with an elegant concave form. The project is significant in both urban and environmental terms—51 Lime Street is among a number of projects in the City of London that have struck a delicate balance between commercial requirements, the need for flexibility, and respect for the area’s world-famous architectural heritage. The original building for Willis Faber Dumas by Foster + Partners in 1976 was a seminal project for the practice, an open office building characterized by its sense of community —this spirit has been kept alive in the new UK headquarters in London, with expansive roof terraces that offer broad views over the city.

The development comprises two separate buildings which step down to a new public plaza. The building at 1 Fenchurch Street responds to the smaller scale of Billiter Street and Fenchurch Avenue, while the Willis headquarters building rises to the west of the site. The smaller building’s concave façade encircles the plaza and its curved corners maintain important view corridors, and also restore a pedestrian route through the site, reinforcing the medieval street pattern. The landscaping also features sculpture reclaimed from the previous building, linear benches and a living wall to replace the existing ‘party wall’ between the Willis Building and its neighbors, improving the view from the building and encouraging biodiversity. With a fringe of cafes, restaurants, shops and bars at the tower’s base, 51 Lime Street extends the vibrancy of the nearby Leadenhall Market, a particularly lively shopping area in the City with a strong architectural character.

As towers grow ever taller, the strategies to achieve stability are increasingly central to the design approach. On plan, the Willis headquarters has been developed as a series of overlapping curved shells, while its section is arranged in three steps. The roof terraces overlooking the plaza on the lower two steps are directly accessible from the office spaces. Both buildings have a central core to provide open floor plates and maximum flexibility in use, so they are able to accommodate a number of different configurations for one or more tenants.

The entire development is visually unified by its highly reflective façade. The pressed form of the panels and their mica finish give them depth and texture. A strong language is established through the interplay of solid and glazed panels arranged in a saw-tooth pattern. The fins also increase insulation while reducing glare and solar gain—just one of the strategies that have contributed to the building’s BREEAM “excellent” rating. Together with highly efficient services equipment and systems and extensive bicycle parking, the building’s progressive environmental strategy surpasses statutory carbon reduction targets by more than 20%.

CTBUH Awards & Distinctions

Best Tall Building Europe 2008 Winner

2008 CTBUH Awards

11 June 2013 | London

From the 1970’s seminal Willis Faber Dumas Ipswich building, through 51 Lime Street London (winner of the CTBUH 2008 Best Tall Building Europe award), to...

11 June 2013 | London

Carmine Bilardello of Willis Group is interviewed by Jeff Herzer during the 2013 CTBUH London Conference at The Brewery, London. Carmine talks about emerging corporate...

29 January 2015

Seven Cities Winter Spaces Walking Tour

The new CTBUH Urban Habitat / Urban Design Committee organized a highly successful Winter Spaces Walking Tour in seven cities around the world.

13 June 2013

Activity at the CTBUH London Conference: Day Three

Tall Building Industry Gathers in London See the highlights from the tall building event of the year…

13 June 2013

Willis Building Technical Tour Report

The tour of 51 Lime Street, known as the Willis Building, started with a trip straight to the top floor and was quick to impress the delegates with a first stop at the 23rd floor’s expansive balcony.

17 July 2011

London Report: Bucking a Western Trend?

Executive Director Antony Wood visited the UK in July for the inaugural meeting of a future CTBUH UK Chapter and other endeavors.