At the Year in Infrastructure 2018 conference this morning, I heard a fascinating tale of two buildings in a talk by Tom Dengenis of SYNCHRO. which was recently acquired by Bentley. I had always wondered about an abandoned construction project in the middle of the City, London's financial district. Construction on the Pinnacle, at 22 Bishopsgate in the heart of the City and the now iconic Shard began about the same time in 2006. Both had significant demolition to do before commencing work, but the Shard had more. But what we heard this morning is that because the Shard construction team adopted an innovative approach to building the substructure called "top down bottom up", the construction team on the Shard managed to start on the superstructure six months ahead of the Pinnacle and to complete the project on schedule in July 2012. SYNCHRO provided the graphic simulation along with a real time based 4D BIM model for this project. In contrast construction on the Pinnacle was halted abruptly in 2007. The lesson here is that in today's competitive environment with project durations getting shorter and shorter, being innovative in design and build is essential, an approach that Bentley calls constructioneering.
After construction was abruptly halted on 22 Bishopsgate, the site remained deserted with a seven story core concrete structure which came to be known as the "Stump". In 2015 the superstructure of the Stump demolished to be replaced by a classic American-style, big floorplate building which will be second highest building in Europe (after the Shard) but which will be the most uninteresting building from an architectural perspective in the City - the City is the site of several iconic buildings including the Cheesegrater, Walkie-talkie, Scalpel, and the Gherkin.