By: Kelly Holdaway On: July 11, 2014 In: Blog Comments: 0

You may have spotted GGR UNIC mini spider cranes and glass vacuum lifters making an appearance on Channel 5’s Super Skyscrapers this week. A range of our compact lifting equipment appeared on the documentary on 7th July 2014 which profiled the construction of “The Cheesegrater”, otherwise known as 122 Leadenhall Street, London.

This 225 metre tall skyscraper consists of 52 storeys on an 18,000 tonne steel frame clad in an impressive 70,000 square metres of glazing. The Leadenhall building was nicknamed The Cheesegrater because of its distinctive wedge shape which was designed by Richard Rogers to preserve the view of London’s famous St Paul’s Cathedral landmark from down Fleet Street, as revealed in the programme.

Dubbed “London’s first flat pack skyscraper”, many parts of the Cheesegrater had to be prefabricated elsewhere as there was little room for building materials on the site which was just 3 metres wider than the footprint of the building itself! It is on these types of city centre construction projects that GGR’s compact cranes come in very useful for working in extremely limited space and restricted access areas.

The documentary highlighted the race to get the Cheesegrater’s glass facade completed. A bit of sibling rivalry was involved with brothers Phil and Andy Sedge managing the glazing operations on opposite sides of the building.

Watch below or click here to see a clip of how GGR lifting equipment helped glaze The Cheesegrater.


A UNIC URW-376 mini spider crane was shown working in between floors to help glaze the tapered facade on the south side of the building. An MRTA6 vacuum lifter was also used for this work, moving the unitised glass panels onto launch tables, ready for the mini crane above to lift them up and into position for installation. Using this method, the team were able to fit around 20 units per day.

MRTA6 glazing the Leadenhall Building

On the other side of the Leadenhall skyscraper, the North Core houses all the utilities and services which were put at the back of the building, rather than in the centre, to maximise on floor space. A monorail system was installed here to glaze this face of the building, as well as our UNIC URW-095, URW-295 and URW-376 mini cranes to help install some of the trickier panels which the “Cerberus” system couldn’t reach in the sections joining the main building and the North Core. GGR’s Hydraulica 1200-B vacuum lifter also made an appearance on the documentary as it was used to help with the cladding operations at the North Core.

Hydraulica 1200-B at the Cheesegrater building

Although not shown on the documentary, a UNIC URW-706 mini spider crane was also hired from GGR to install high level glazing from the very top of the building on a rooftop platform. Working alongside the site’s tower crane, the final touches to the glass facade below could be finished quickly and to schedule.

It wasn’t just mini cranes that were used on the Cheesegrater site, an Oscar 600 Offroad glazing robot was used to fit internal glazing around the lift shafts in the North Core from levels 3 to 46. A host of glass vacuum lifters were also used to fit panels around all elevations, including the Hydraulica 2000, MRTA611 Six-in-Line and the DSZ2-12V curved glass lifter.

Click here to watch the full episode of Super Skyscrapers, it’s amazing to see how they created a skyscraper of this size so quickly and in such a cramped area of London!

GGR’s UNIC mini cranes and other lifting solutions are often used to help build these incredible London landmarks, take a look at our work at The Shard.

For more information about our lifting products and services, contact your nearest depot.


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