The Gherkin is one of the most dominant features on the London skyline. Putting up a glass tower in an ancient city, surrounded by wonderful stone architectural masterpieces is a bit of a job. One can expect a bit of opposition. But the architects, Norman Foster and co, who designed the Gherkin really nailed it. Not just in my opinion. It’s a serial award winner. A new building had to go up anyway – the huge IRA bomb that destroyed the previous occupant of that bit of London real estate pretty much determined that.
The building isn’t really called the Gherkin of course. Although the reason for the nickname is obvious. Others do sometimes refer to it as the Dildo, but that’s never really stuck. It is also often called the Swiss Re Tower, although it is no longer officially known by that name – no need for anyone to note that I have used that moniker to label my photo set on Flickr. I just can’t be bothered to change it. But anyway. Today the building is simply called 30 St Mary Axe.
The design is fabulous. The shape makes it stand out, and it remains aesthetically superior to the copy cat gherkins – the hideous Barcelona one in particular. The swirling black bands also add appeal. And the design of the glass panels catches the sun and the eye. But I have one complaint. There’s no public viewing platform. Still, I took photos from around the bottom. Click here to see them on Flickr.