Gherkin (30 St. Mary Axe), London

4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - 22 Reviews

30 St. Mary Axe, London

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • The Gherkin.
    The Gherkin.
    by londontraveller01
  • The Gherkin - Jul 2013
    The Gherkin - Jul 2013
    by MM212
  • Gherkin (30 St. Mary Axe)
    by Regina1965
  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    A HUGE GLASS GHERKIN

    by davidjo Written Dec 16, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    impressive
    1 more image

    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.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Regina1965's Profile Photo

    The Gherkin.

    by Regina1965 Updated Nov 19, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Gherkin.
    4 more images

    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.

    Was this review helpful?

  • kris-t's Profile Photo

    30 St. Mary's Axe

    by kris-t Updated Jan 30, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    the classics and modern architecture
    3 more images

    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.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Photography
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • planxty's Profile Photo

    Why all the fuss?

    by planxty Written Jan 28, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    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.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Photography
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Britannia2's Profile Photo

    The Gerkhin

    by Britannia2 Updated Sep 20, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Gherkin

    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)

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • vichatherly's Profile Photo

    The Gherkin - London City Skyline

    by vichatherly Updated Mar 5, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    30 St Mary Axe London

    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.

    Related to:
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • MM212's Profile Photo

    30 St Mary Axe

    by MM212 Updated Oct 13, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Old & New - the Gherkin (Apr 09)
    2 more images

    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.

    Related to:
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • jo104's Profile Photo

    City Architecture - The Gerkin

    by jo104 Updated Jul 25, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

    Was this review helpful?

  • clouds111's Profile Photo

    The Gherkin

    by clouds111 Written Oct 1, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    2 more images

    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.

    Was this review helpful?

  • iwys's Profile Photo

    Swiss Re Building

    by iwys Updated Jun 22, 2007

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    2 more images

    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.

    Related to:
    • Business Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Gherkin Tower

    by stewartbel Updated May 19, 2007
    Gherkin
    2 more images

    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.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Airpunk's Profile Photo

    The Gherkin - Swiss Re building

    by Airpunk Updated Apr 6, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Gherkin
    4 more images

    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.

    Related to:
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • The new 'Erotic Gherkin' skyscraper

    by sabsi Updated Sep 12, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Erotic Gherkin

    The most recent addition to London's skyline is the Swiss Re headquarter building. It's designed by British star architects Foster and Partners. The people of London call it the "Erotic Gherkin" though and I think that's exactly what it looks like.

    With a height of 179.8 metre the building will be the 2nd highest building in the City of London. It is built on the grounds of the former Baltic Exchange which was destroyed by an IRA bomb in the 1990s.

    Related to:
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Tripack's Profile Photo

    A must see for skyscraper amateur...

    by Tripack Updated Aug 30, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A Bright Skyscraper
    4 more images


    You can’t miss this impressive construction located in the financial district opens since May 2004. Its official name is 30 St Mary Axe, but better known as The Gherkin (named after its shape) or the Swiss RE building (name after the owner, the second largest insurance company in the world).

    The 180 meters high skyscraper wins multiple awards thanks to its original architecture designed by Foster and Partners. Over 35km of steel was used to construct the building and you will need to climb 1’037 stairs (three times more the The Monument) to reach the 41st floor. The lounge bar and restaurant at the top is the highest in London, but exclusively available to hire to tenants of the building and external parties (the hire charge for the venue begins from £9,000 + VAT...).

    During the first Open House weekend in 2004, more than 10’000 people queued for an average of four hours to see their beloved Gherkin up close. Nowadays only the plaza is accessible to the public as the building is private office block up to a capacity of 4’000 occupiers. The building is environmentally friendly with the use of the last innovative technologies to reduce energy consumption. For sure with its 24’000 sq m of external glasses you do not need an artificial lighting ;-)

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo

    Award winning building of glass & steel

    by scottishvisitor Written Mar 18, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Erotic Gerkin

    Known locally as The Erotic Gerkin the Swiss RE Building has won 11 awards including the Sitling Prize. Opened in May 2004, the buildings official name is St. Mary Axe and was designed by Fosters & Partners. It really is a lovely building with its stunning black glass & glimmering steel. The public are not permitted in the building but the plaza is open for your enjoyment with shops bars & cafes but they are so expensive & more suited to the city folk who work in this building.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: London

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

78 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near Gherkin (30 St. Mary Axe)
3.5 out of 5 stars
31 Opinions
0.1 miles away
Show Prices
4.5 out of 5 stars
1212 Opinions
0.2 miles away
Show Prices
4.0 out of 5 stars
189 Opinions
0.2 miles away
Show Prices

View all London hotels