Can of Ham skyscraper to sit alongside Gherkin and Cheesegrater

The stalled London skyscraper project known as the “Can of Ham” by Foggo Associates looks set to be revived.

Reports in the UK trade media say construction firm Mace has been appointed to build the $150 million, 24-story tower at 60-70 St Mary Axe, close to Lord Norman Foster’s Gherkin.

Foggo Associates won planning approval for the skyscraper in the summer of 2008 but work hasn’t progressed since, due to the global financial crisis.

The tower, nicknamed because of its resemblance to a canned meat which was part of rationing in Britain in the 1940s and 50s which is expected to include office space, as well as ground-floor retail and streetscape enhancements.

The design features vertical shading fins to wrap around the curved outer walls, while the glazed end elevations are engineered to reduce solar gain.

Foggo Associates – the studio established by former Arup Associates partner Peter Foggo before his death in 1993 –also visualised the arched profile of the tower to respect existing views across the City of London.

Richard Rogers designed the shape of the Leadenhall Building, also known as the Cheesegrater and yet another food-related high-rise London reference, for the same reason.

Julian Wells of developer Targetfollow said he was optimistic about the project’s success.

“The design is spectacular and we think it will add a huge amount to the City skyscape,” he said.

“It has been designed to sit in the foothills of the major tower cluster in this part of the City and we think it will fit in very neatly and add to that view. It is a truly stunning building — grade A — and we are very excited about it.”