Function follows form as Lord Rogers moves to City


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The superstar architect of London’s Cheesegrater skyscraper, Richard Rogers, is set to move into the building himself.

Property sources say Lord Rogers’ practice, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, has gone under offer to take the 14th floor of the building as its new base, although talks with developer British Land are still under way before a final deal is signed.

The practice is moving out of Thames Wharf in Hammersmith, its home for  30 years, which is also the home of the famed River Cafe restaurant. The Michelin-starred River Cafe was opened by Lord Rogers’ wife Ruth in 1987, originally as a canteen for the practice’s staff. But Lord Rogers’ lease expires at Thames Wharf at the end of next year and he has been looking for a new home for the practice.

British Land’s skyscraper – officially the Leadenhall Building and one of the first major speculative redevelopments in the City following the credit crunch – is the tallest in the Square Mile at 735ft. Its major tenants include insurance broker Aon, and the building is now more than half let. The developer is taking its time to fill up the Cheesegrater’s smaller upper floors, which can command much higher rents. Land Securities’ nearby rival, the Walkie-Talkie, has bigger floorplates – giving it appeal to a wider range of tenants – and is nearly fully let.

British Land declined to comment.