5 Cheapside - London, UK

John Wells-Thorpe
Date Built
Approved 1963 - construction began in 1968
5 Cheapside
5 Cheapside is a remnant from the 1960s.  It comprises a seven-storey octagonal concrete tower which is canterlevered over the ground floor.  The ground floor is a retail outlet.  When I added this building to the website, it was scheduled for demolition to be replaced by a new office/ mixed use development designed by John McAslan + Partners.  The planning permission application at that time said of the existing building that it , "is a competent design if perhaps a little "squat" in overall terms.  Each facet of the octagon has good proportions and its recessed base gives the upper cantilevered part a sense of levity."

When I saw the building in 2014, it was wrapped and I suspected it was being prepared for demolition.

However, I was wrong,  It was in fact being prepared for refurbishment.

Amsprop ( Lord Sugar's privately owned Real Estate vehicle) had bought the building from Kuwaiti property company St Martin’s in 2012 for around £20m.  The plan was to strip back its concrete cladding to provide a sleek modern exterior.  As the "Estatesgazette" website explains, "The octagonal block, often known as the Threepenny Bit, occupies a prime site outside St Paul’s tube station and has been comprehensively refurbished and repositioned by Sugar’s property company Amsprop."  In the process the building was rebranded as The Sugar Building.

The building's website describes it as "A New City Icon" adding that, "... The Sugar Building provides 40,126 sq ft of Grade A refurbished office space on seven upper floors with stunning 360 degree views over the City. It commands a unique and prominent island site on Cheapside adjacent to St Paul’s tube station and St Paul’s Cathedral.  .....

..... An impressive, brand new double height entrance hall with feature lighting, designed by award winning architects Rolfe Judd, welcomes you, your staff and your clients."