8 Canada Square

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8 Canada Square
HSBC Building London.jpg
General information
LocationCanary Wharf
London, E14
United Kingdom
Construction started1999
Completed2002; 20 years ago (2002)
Height200 m (656 ft)
Technical details
Floor count45
Floor area164,410 m2 (1,769,700 sq ft)[1]
Design and construction
Architect(s)Foster and Partners

8 Canada Square (also known as the HSBC Tower) is a skyscraper in Canary Wharf, London. The building serves as the global headquarters of the HSBC Group.[2] The building has 45 storeys and houses approximately 8,000 employees.[3]

Design and construction[edit]

Having been commissioned by the owners of the Canary Wharf Site to do the outline design prior to gaining site-wide outline planning permission, and because he had designed HSBC's last head office at 1 Queen's Road, Central, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong, Sir Norman Foster (now Lord Foster of Thames Bank) was appointed as architect.[4]

Construction began in January 1999, with work beginning on the installation of the 4,900 glass panels commencing in the summer of 2000. The work was carried out by Canary Wharf Contractors.[5] In May 2000, three workmen were killed in a crane accident.[6]

8 Canada Square.

The topping out ceremony took place on 7 March 2001, with the hoisting in of the final steel girder attended by bankers, journalists and contractors. The first HSBC employees began work in the building on 2 September 2002, with phased occupation completed by 17 February 2003, and the building's official opening, by Sir John Bond, taking place on 2 April 2003.[7]


In April 2007, HSBC Tower was sold to Spanish property company Metrovacesa, becoming the first building in Britain to be sold for more than £1bn.[8] As part of the sale, HSBC retained occupancy control and agreed a 20-year lease at a cost of £43.5m per annum.[3]

In December 2008, after Metrovacesa encountered problems with re-financing the bridging loan that HSBC had provided it and as part of a wider debt restructure for Metrovacesa, the bank bought back the property. HSBC stated it had made a £250m profit on the deal.[9]

In November 2009, HSBC once again sold the building, this time to the National Pension Service ("NPS"), the public pension fund for South Korea. HSBC's income statement on completion declared a gain of approximately £350million resulting from the transaction.[10]

In December 2014, Qatar Investment Authority completed the purchase of this building at an undisclosed price, but the building was expected to fetch more than £1.1 billion (US$1.73 billion).[11] NPS was advised by the estate agents Jones Lang LaSalle and GM Real Estate.[12][13]

Stephen and Stitt[edit]

8 Canada Square has a pair of bronze lions guarding the main entrance. These are copies of a pair nicknamed "Stephen" and "Stitt" which have stood outside the Bank's Headquarters at 1 Queen's Road Central in Hong Kong since 1935. The Hong Kong lions are named after yet another pair of lions that guarded the Bank's Shanghai headquarters on The Bund after it opened in 1923.

The lions were cast within sight of the development by the Bronze Age Sculpture Casting Foundry in Limehouse.[14]

Area of the HSBC headquarters in Canary Wharf

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "8 Canada Square". Skyscraper Center. CTBUH. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  2. ^ Treanor, Jill (15 February 2016). "HSBC to keep its headquarters in London". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  3. ^ a b "HSBC sells Canary Wharf HQ". the Guardian. 30 April 2007. Retrieved 30 April 2022.
  4. ^ "Projects – HSBC UK Headquarters – London, UK – 1997–2002". Foster + Partners. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  5. ^ Canary Wharf Contractors website
  6. ^ "Crane crash trio named". BBC News. 22 May 2000. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  7. ^ "HSBC Tower, London". OpenBuildings. Archived from the original on 31 August 2017. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  8. ^ SkyscraperNews.com (April 2007). "HSBC Tower Sold For Record Price". SkyscraperNews.com. Retrieved 5 May 2007.
  9. ^ "HSBC buys back Canary Wharf HQ". the Guardian. 5 December 2008. Retrieved 30 April 2022.
  10. ^ "Tower sold for third time in two years". Financial Times. 14 November 2009. Retrieved 30 April 2022.
  11. ^ "Qatar Fund Buys HSBC's London Headquarters". The Wall Street Journal. 15 December 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  12. ^ Financial Times (24 April 2014). "Sale of HSBC tower hints at return to property boom times". The Financial Times. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  13. ^ Euro Property (25 September 2014). "Middle Eastern investor to buy £1.1bn London skyscraper". Euro Property. Archived from the original on 5 January 2015. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  14. ^ "Bronze Age Sculpture Casting Foundry in Limehouse". Bronze Age.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′19″N 0°01′02.6″W / 51.50528°N 0.017389°W / 51.50528; -0.017389