Gherkin - 30 St. Mary Axe, London

4.5 out of 5 stars 29 Reviews

30 St. Mary Axe, London

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  • In close up
    In close up
    by toonsarah
  • Gherkin - 30 St. Mary Axe
    by toonsarah
  • The Gherkin.
    The Gherkin.
    by londontraveller01
  • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo

    Gherkin,

    by pieter_jan_v Written Nov 20, 2014

    Where the Baltic Exchange used to be, the amazing Gherkin has taken its place in May 2004. This new London landmark is with its 180 meters height one of the tallest London buildings.

    From the top floor Searcy's restaurant you have a great look off to the city.

    Gherkin - London Gherkin - London Gherkin - London Gherkin - London
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    The Gherkin

    by toonsarah Written Aug 16, 2014

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    The proper name for this distinctive building, still a relatively new addition to the London skyline, is 30 St Mary Axe (its address) but everyone refers to it as the Gherkin, for obvious reasons. It’s very much a “love it or loathe it” landmark, and I fall into the former category. It is 180 metres tall – the second tallest building in the City of London and the sixth tallest in all of London. It was designed by Sir Norman Foster and opened in May 2004.

    The building isn’t open to the general public (although parts are sometimes opened for Open House Weekend) but the plaza outside is open.

    In close up
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  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    A HUGE GLASS GHERKIN

    by davidjo Written Dec 16, 2012

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    The 180 metre high skyscraper looks a little out of place in the city, and would look much better surrounded by green fields. It is quite difficult to find a suitable place to take a photograph due to the surrounding buildings. The building has several energy saving methods as well as double glazing and a ventilation system running through gaps in the floor. On the 40th floor (the top one) there is a bar for tenants and their guests with a 360 degree view of the capital, and the floor below is a restaurant. in 2007 the building was sold for £630,000,000 making it the most expensive office building in U.K.

    impressive difficult to get a clear view
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  • Regina1965's Profile Photo

    The Gherkin.

    by Regina1965 Updated Nov 19, 2012

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    There is a funny shaped glass building in London - which has turned into a landmark in London and an icon really - if you see this building you know it is London. It is called The Gherkin by Londoners due to its shape - a gherkin is a small cucumber. There are other names used for it as well, of sexual nature, one can only imagine...

    The Gherkin has changed the image of London - it wasn´t here when I was studying in London in 1987 - then The Barbican center was the most prominent building in the City. The Gherkin was built in 2003-2004. It is 180 metres tall with 41 floors. On the 39th floor there is a restaurant.

    I wanted to see what it was like on the inside, so I walked in, but there was just a reception desk and no tourists allowed, so i walked out disappointed.

    The Gherkin was built on the site where the IRA planted a bomb in 1992.

    The Gherkin. Outside the Gherkin.

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    Erotic Gherkin

    by Dabs Updated Jun 13, 2011

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    I'm not a huge fan of modern architecture but I have to say this one tickles my fancy. Maybe it has something to do with the shape? Nicknamed the erotic gherkin, that's a fancy word for pickle, the Swiss Re building is a 2004 addition to London's skyline. Unfortunately the building is private so unless you know someone who works in the gherkin, it's not likely that you'll get inside to see what the views are.

    You can get a good view of the Gherkin from almost anywhere on the east end of London, even when you are far afield of London, you can usually see the Gherkin because of it's, ahem, large size.

    Erotic Gherkin (April 2011) Erotic Gherkin Erotic Gherkin

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  • kris-t's Profile Photo

    30 St. Mary's Axe

    by kris-t Updated Jan 30, 2011

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    Two of London’s tallest buildings, left is Tower 42 and right is the Swiss Re Tower.

    The architects, Foster and Partners, crafted a distinctive cone-like shape to reduce the wind turbulence around the Gherkin. It was completed in 2004 and opened on 28 April, 2004. Its design won the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize for the best new building by a RIBA architect in 2004. It was the first time that the prize jury was unanimous in their decision.

    30 St Mary Axe (Swiss Re Tower) is a building in the City of London, London, United Kingdom. It is informally known as "The Gherkin", and sometimes as The Swiss Re Tower, Swiss Re Building or Swiss Re Centre, after its owner and principal occupier. It is 590 ft (180 m) tall. The building is famous for its daring architecture by Pritzker-prize winner, Sir Norman Foster and ex-partner Ken Shuttleworth.

    the classics and modern architecture 30 St. Mary's Axe 30 St. Mary's Axe the classics and modern architecture
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    Why all the fuss?

    by planxty Written Jan 28, 2011

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    I am a tip group editor on VT for London and I am constantly astounded at the number of people who write tips on 30 St. Mary Axe, or the Gherkin as it is locally known. I suppose architecture afficionados may find much to interest them and it certainly makes for some excellent photographs, although I certainly do not include my own amateur efforts in this category. It remains, though, effectively a large commercial office block which you can't get into unless you have business or are a member of the private restaurant or bar, incidentally the highest in London.

    I suspect my attitude may be a product of familiarity breeding contempt. I remember the thing being built and I see it just about every day of my life so it perhaps doesn't "wow" me as much as it should. The sunset photo here was taken literally yards from my home!

    There are, however, some impressive figures associated with the building. The 24,000 square metres of external glass is equivalent to five football (soccer) pitches, the height of 180 metres makes it over three times the height of Niagara Falls and each stairwell has 1037 steps, so I don't fancy climbing to the top. My favourite fact, however, was that during construction the grave of a Roman girl was unearthed. after being stored in a nearby Museum, she was restored to her resting place at the base of the building. I can only imagine what she would have made of it.

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  • Britannia2's Profile Photo

    The Gerkhin

    by Britannia2 Updated Sep 20, 2010

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    A building of 40 floors and a tower of 591 feet high this imposing building opened in May 2004.
    The deputy Prime Minister granted planning permission in 2000 and such high level permission was needed because no new development in the City must obstruct or detract from the view of St Paul's dome when viewed from a number of locations across London. Also the narrow streets of the City must be maintained so the building had to be constrained in the existing street pattern. The passerby is nearly oblivious to the tower's existence in neighbouring streets until directly underneath it.
    The primary occupant of the building is Swiss Re, a global reinsurance company, who had the building commissioned as the head office for their UK operation.
    (Adopted from Wikipedia)

    The Gherkin
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  • vichatherly's Profile Photo

    The Gherkin - London City Skyline

    by vichatherly Updated Mar 5, 2010

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    Another outrageous building...excellent

    This is 30 Saint Mary Axe, formerly know as the Swiss Re Building (Re meaning Re-insurance), and still known unofficially as The Gherkin, which is a bit unkind because it is a deal more elegant than that, I think.

    My congratulations to Sir Norman Foster and his partners. This elegant new tower makes a distinctive contribution to London's skyline, and is just as impressive close up.

    30 St Mary Axe London
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  • MM212's Profile Photo

    30 St Mary Axe

    by MM212 Updated Oct 13, 2009

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    Designed by the renowned architect Norman Foster and completed in 2003, this oddly shaped building has become one of London's most distinctive landmarks. Although it is officially called 30 St Mary Axe, after its exact address, the building has gained the popular nickname the "Gherkin" due to its shape. Supposedly, it is an eco-friendly structure designed to minimise energy use and waste. The 180 metre skyscraper houses the headquarters of the giant insurer Swiss Re and is located in the City, but is unfortunately not open to the public.

    Old & New - the Gherkin (Apr 09) The Gherkin - Jan 07 The Gherkin - Jul 2013
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  • jo104's Profile Photo

    City Architecture - The Gerkin

    by jo104 Updated Jul 25, 2009

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    Exit Liverpool street station right down bishopsgate turning into Camomile Lane then first right into St Marys Axe.

    Home to insurance company Swiss Re and affectionally known by London city workers as the gherkin this is the 2nd tallest building in the city of London at 180 metres.

    At the top is 2 floors for the purpose of entertaining giving panaromic 360 degree views of the city, however this is not open to the general public. I have been fortunate to be an invited guest of a function at the top twice and although its spectacular I felt the diamond shape panels of glass obstruct the view slightly, also taking pictures in the interior is difficult because of the light rebounding off the glass.

    the building is designed to be enviromentally friendly spiralling lightwells enable natural light into the building and maximise natural ventalation. The facade is double skinned and is cooled by extracting air from the offices reducing the overall heat load. For more details on its energy effiency see the website.

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  • clouds111's Profile Photo

    The Gherkin

    by clouds111 Written Oct 1, 2007

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    The Gherkin or to use it's real name, 30 St Mary Axe, is my favourite modern building in London and it's the tallest building in the 'Square Mile'. I was fortunate enough to work quite near to the site where the building began so got to watch it grow into the London skyline. When the plans were submitted for St Mary Axe there was a lot of negative press, that it would ruin the view across this historic city but I think it fits in perfectly with the old surroundings.

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  • iwys's Profile Photo

    Swiss Re Building

    by iwys Updated Jun 22, 2007

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    Norman Foster's Swiss Re building was completed in 2004. It is nicknamed The Gherkin, but personally I think it looks more like a giant vibrator or a rocket about to take off for another planet. With a height of 180 m, it is the sixth tallest building in London. It has won several architectural awards, including the 2004 Stirling Prize.

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  • Gherkin Tower

    by stewartbel Updated May 19, 2007

    30 St Mary Axe is a building in London's main financial district, the City of London. It is widely known by the nickname "The Gherkin". It is 180 m tall, making it the second-tallest building in the City of London. It was constructed between 2001 and 2004.

    Gherkin Gherkin Gherkin

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  • Airpunk's Profile Photo

    The Gherkin - Swiss Re building

    by Airpunk Updated Apr 6, 2007

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    This building was designed by Sir Norman Foster and is mostly know by its nickname "The Gherkin". Its official name is just "30 St Mary Axe", but beside from the nickname its is also called Swiss Re Tower after the name of the owner. Most of the offices in this building belong to insurance companies, but also a few banks and technology companies are to be found.

    The Gherkin is one of only a few examples of extravagant modern architecture in London and an interesting eye-catcher in the London skyline. Have a look at it during daytime, but also come back for a short look at night when it is illuminated.

    There’s also a sad story linked to the place where this building stands now. On April 10th 1992 at 09:20 pm, a bomb placed by the IRA detonated close to 30, St. Mary Axe. It killed three people and injured further 91. At this time, the Baltic Exchange, a late victorian building, occupied this place, but it was completely destroyed by the detonation. Several years after this terrorist incident, construction for a new building began in 2001. A commemorative inscription dedicated to the three victims can be seen to the left of the main entrance on a wall.

    The Gherkin The Gherkin at night Commemorative Plaque dedicated to the victims The Gherkin The Gerkhin between other buildings
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