The Gherkin London, Swiss Re Tower, Skyscraper Building, Design, Photos
The Gherkin, London
30 St Mary’s Axe : Gherkin Skyscraper, UK – design by Foster + Partners
page updated 2 Jul 2014
The Gherkin – Swiss Re London
Address: 30 St Mary’s Axe, City of London, England, UK
Design: Foster + Partners – UK Architects led by Norman Foster
CTBUH Awards news – The Gherkin Wins CTBUH 10 Year Award – 22 Jul 2013
The uniquely-shaped Gherkin, completed in 2003, cleared the way for a new generation of tall buildings in London and beyond. Ten years on, the tapering form and diagonal bracing structure of 30 St Marys Axe afford numerous benefits: programmatic flexibility, naturally ventilated internal social spaces that provide user comfort while reducing energy demand, and ample, protected public space at the ground level.
30 St. Mary Axe : main page on this unusual skyscraper
For: Swiss Re
Project Architect: Ken Shuttleworth, now of make architects
Nickname: The Gherkin
Swiss Re HQ, 30 St Mary Axe
The Swiss Re tower’s topmost panoramic dome, known as the “lens”, recalls the iconic glass dome that covered part of the ground floor of the Baltic Exchange. The gherkin name was applied to the current 30 St Marys Axe building at least as far back as 1999, referring to that plan’s highly unorthodox layout and appearance.
The building was constructed by Skanska, completed in December 2003 and opened on 28 April 2004. The primary occupant of 30 St Marys Axe building is Swiss Re, a global reinsurance company, which had the building commissioned as the head office for its UK operation. The Gherkin tower is sometimes known as “Swiss Re Tower”, although this name is not official.
The Swiss Re building uses energy-saving methods which allow it to use half the power that a similar tower would typically consume. Gaps in each floor create six shafts that serve as a natural ventilation system for the entire building even though required firebreaks on every sixth floor interrupt the “chimney.”
30 St Marys Axe photo © Keepclicking – added 10 Sep 2012:
30 St Mary Axe : London Skyscraper
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London Architecture – best buildings
Swiss Re context : City of London Buildings
The Gherkin in London – 30 St Marys Axe
Comments / photos for the The Gherkin Building – Swiss Re Tower page welcome
The Gherkin London – page