The official name of this 80-storey skyscraper is 30 St Mary Axe, but to everyone else it's the Gherkin. Also known as The Swiss tower as it was built for Swiss Re company who are the second largest insurance company in the world. Deisgned by Norman Foster and once again he has not disappointed with his vision.
The building is simply stunning it is different to other buildings which have been built previously, it has forty one storeys and provides 76,400 square metres of space, including offices, accomodation and a shopping arcade accessed from a newly created public plaza.
At the very top of the building London's highest occupied floor - is a club room that offers a spectacular 360-degree panorama across the capital.
30 St Mary Axe is London's first environmentally sustainable tall building. Among the building's most distinctive features are its windows, which open to allow natural ventilation to supplement the mechanical systems for a good part of the year.
Whenever possible, recycled and recyclable materials have been specified throughout the building and innovative ways of reducing energy consumption have been implemented.
Generated by a radial plan, with a circular perimeter, the building widens in profile as it rises and tapers towards its apex. This distinctive form responds to the constraints of the site: the building appears more slender than a rectangular block of equivalent size; reflections are reduced and transparency is improved; and the slimming of its profile towards the base maximises the public realm at ground level.
Environmentally, its profile reduces the amount of wind deflected to the ground compared with a rectilinear tower of similar size, helping to maintain pedestrian comfort at street level, and creates external pressure differentials that are exploited to drive a unique system of natural ventilation.
This building blends into the london skyline effortlessly and will continue to do so even with the arrival of larger skyscrapers arriving as they have been approved in the coming years.