On the place of today's Leadenhall Building has been standing a 14 storeys building completed in 1969 and designed by Gollins Melvin Ward Partnership. The two buildings had a central concrete core and suspended floors on the exterior of the building. The building was extensively damaged by an IRA bomb in the early-1990s. It was demolished in 2007-08 to make space for new development.
The Leadenhall Building is 225 m tall, with 48 floors. With its distinctive wedge-shaped profile it has been nicknamed the Cheesegrater, a name originally given to it by the City of London Corporation's chief planning officer, Peter Rees, who upon seeing a model of the concept "told Richard Rogers I could imagine his wife using it to grate parmesan.
The new tower features a tapered glass facade on one side which reveals steel bracings, along with a ladder frame to emphasize the vertical appearance of the building. It also appears to anchor the tower to the ground, giving a sense of strength. Unlike other tall buildings, which typically use a concrete core to provide stability, the steel megaframe provides stability to the entire structure and is the world's tallest of its kind. The base features a 30 m high atrium. The flat side of the building is also encased in glass.