HOME
The Info List - 30 St Mary Axe


--- Advertisement ---



30 St Mary Axe
St Mary Axe
(informally known as the Gherkin
Gherkin
and previously as the Swiss Re
Swiss Re
Building) is a commercial skyscraper in London's primary financial district, the City of London. It was completed in December 2003 and opened in April 2004.[10] With 41 stories, it is 180 metres (591 ft) tall[3] and stands on the former sites of the Baltic Exchange and Chamber of Shipping, which were extensively damaged in 1992 by the explosion of a bomb placed by the Provisional IRA in St Mary Axe, the street from which the tower takes its name.[4][11] After plans to build the 92-storey Millennium Tower were dropped, 30 St Mary Axe
St Mary Axe
was designed by Norman Foster and Arup Group.[12] It was erected by Skanska, with construction commencing in 2001.[3] The building has become a recognisable feature of London, and it is one of the city's most widely recognised examples of contemporary architecture.

Contents

1 Site

1.1 Planning process

2 Design and construction 3 After completion 4 Tenants 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Site[edit] The building stands on the former sites of the Baltic Exchange
Baltic Exchange
(24-28 St Mary Axe), which was the headquarters of a global marketplace for ship sales and shipping information, and the Chamber of Shipping (30-32 St Mary Axe). On 10 April 1992, the Provisional IRA detonated a bomb close to the Exchange, causing extensive damage to the historic building and neighbouring structures.[4][11] The United Kingdom government's statutory adviser on the historic environment, English Heritage, and the City of London's governing body, the City of London
London
Corporation, were keen that any redevelopment must restore the Baltic Exchange's old façade onto St Mary Axe. The Exchange Hall was a celebrated fixture of the ship trading market.[13][14] After English Heritage
English Heritage
later discovered the damage was far more severe than initially thought, they stopped insisting on full restoration, albeit over the objections of the architectural conservationists who favoured reconstruction.[15] The Baltic Exchange
Baltic Exchange
and the Chamber of Shipping sold the land to Trafalgar House in 1995.[16] Most of the remaining structures on Baltic Exchange
Baltic Exchange
site were then carefully dismantled, the interior of Exchange Hall and the façade were preserved, hoping for a reconstruction of the building in the future.[16] The salvaged material was eventually sold for £800,000 and moved to Tallinn, Estonia, where it awaits reconstruction as the centrepiece of the city's commercial sector. In 1996, Trafalgar House submitted plans for the Millennium Tower, a 386-metre (1,266 ft) building with more than 140,000 m2 (1,500,000 sq ft) of office space, apartments, shops, restaurants and gardens. This plan was dropped after objections for being totally out-of-scale with the City of London
London
and anticipated disruption to flight paths for both London
London
City and London
London
Heathrow airports; the revised plan for a lower tower was accepted. The 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 and much of which is now displayed at the National Maritime Museum.[4][17] The Gherkin
Gherkin
nickname was applied to the current building at least as long ago as 1999, referring to that plan's highly unorthodox layout and appearance.[18] Planning process[edit] On 23 August 2000, Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott
John Prescott
granted planning permission to construct a building much larger than the old Exchange on the site.[13] The site was special because it needed development, was not on any of the "sight lines" (planning guidance requires that new buildings do not obstruct or detract from the view of St Paul's dome when viewed from a number of locations around London), and it had housed the Baltic Exchange. The plan for the site was to reconstruct the Baltic Exchange. GMW Architects proposed a new rectangular building surrounding a restored exchange: the square shape would have the type of large floor plan that banks liked. Eventually, the planners realised that the exchange was not recoverable, forcing them to relax their building constraints; they hinted that an "architecturally significant" building might obtain a favourable reception from city authorities. This gave the architect a free hand in the design; it eliminated the restrictive demands for a large, capital-efficient, money-making building, whose design was per the client's desire.[19] Swiss Re's low level plan met the planning authority's desire to maintain London's traditional streetscape with its relatively narrow streets. The mass of the Swiss Re
Swiss Re
tower was not too imposing. Like Barclays Bank's former City headquarters in Lombard Street, the idea was that the passer-by in neighbouring streets would be nearly oblivious to the tower's existence until directly underneath it. Design and construction[edit] The building was constructed by Skanska, completed in December 2003 and opened on 28 April 2004.[4] The primary occupant of the building is Swiss Re, a global reinsurance company, which had the building commissioned as the head office for its UK operation. The tower is thus sometimes known as the Swiss Re
Swiss Re
Building, although this name has never been official and has more recently fallen out of favour, since the company's main headquarters is in Zurich
Zurich
and the Gherkin
Gherkin
name has become more popular.[20]

30 St Mary Axe
St Mary Axe
under construction

The building uses energy-saving methods, which allow it to use half the power that a similar tower would typically consume.[20] 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". The shafts create a giant double glazing effect; air is sandwiched between two layers of glazing and insulates the office space inside.[4] Architects promote double glazing in residential houses, which avoids the inefficient convection of heat across the relatively narrow gap between the panes, but the tower exploits this effect. The shafts pull warm air out of the building during the summer and warm the building in the winter using passive solar heating. The shafts also allow sunlight to pass through the building, making the work environment more pleasing, and keeping the lighting costs down. The primary methods for controlling wind-excited sways are to increase the stiffness, or increase damping with tuned/active mass dampers. To a design by Arup, its fully triangulated perimeter structure makes the building sufficiently stiff without any extra reinforcements. Despite its overall curved glass shape, there is only one piece of curved glass on the building, the lens-shaped cap at the apex.[4] On the building's top level (the 40th floor), there is a bar for tenants and their guests, featuring a panoramic view of London. A restaurant operates on the 39th floor, and private dining rooms on the 38th.[20] Whereas most buildings have extensive lift equipment on the roof of the building, this was not possible for the Gherkin, since a bar had been planned for the 40th floor. The architects dealt with this by having the main lift only reach the 34th floor, and then having a push-from-below lift to the 39th floor. There is a marble stairwell and a disabled persons' lift, which leads the visitor up to the bar in the dome. The building is visible over long distances: From the north, for instance, it can be seen from the M11 motorway, some 32 kilometres (20 mi) away,[20][21] while to the west it can be seen from the statue of George III in Windsor Great Park. After completion[edit] In April 2005, the press reported that a glass panel, two thirds up the tower, had fallen to the plaza beneath. The plaza was sealed off, but the building remained open. A temporary covered walkway, extending across the plaza to the building's reception, was erected to protect visitors. Engineers examined the other 744 glass panels on the building.[22] The cost of repair was covered by main contractor Skanska
Skanska
and curtain-wall supplier Schmidlin (now called Schmidlin-TSK AG).[20] Since its completion, the building has won a number of awards for architecture. In October 2004, the architect was awarded the 2004 RIBA Stirling Prize. For the first time in the prize's history, the judges were unanimous.[23] In December 2005, a survey of the world's largest firms of architects published in 2006 BD World Architecture 200 voted the tower as the most admired new building in the world. However, Ken Shuttleworth, who worked for Foster and Partners
Foster and Partners
on the design of the building, said in 2011 that he believed the style was now out-moded: "I was looking at the glass all around and [thought], 'Why on earth did we do that?' Now we would do things differently".[24] The building featured in recent films such as Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Russell Crowe's A Good Year, Sharon Stone's Basic Instinct 2, and Woody Allen's Match Point[25] and, rechristened the Spirit of London, became the spaceship centrepiece of Keith Mansfield's 2008 novel Johnny Mackintosh and the Spirit of London.[26] In September 2006, the building was put up for sale with a price tag of £600 million.[27] Potential buyers included British Land, Land Securities, Prudential, ING, and the Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
royal family. On 21 February 2007, IVG Immobilien
IVG Immobilien
AG and UK investment firm Evans Randall completed their joint purchase of the building for £630 million, making it Britain's most expensive office building.[28][29] Swiss Re booked a gain of more than £300 million from the sale.[30] The new owners are seeking compensation from four of their former managers on the deal, in which about £620 million was paid for a building with a build cost of about £200 million, giving the previous owners a clear £300 million profit.[31] Since February 2010,[32] Sky News
Sky News
has broadcast its flagship business programme, Jeff Randall Live, from a studio in the building. In addition the top two floors of tower are now available on a private hire basis for events.[33]

Aerial view showing complete structure

Deloitte
Deloitte
announced in April 2014 that the building was again being put up for sale, with an expected price of £550 million.[34] The current owners could not afford to make loan repayments, citing differences in the value of the multi-currency loan and the British pound, high interest rates and general financing structure.[35] In November 2014, the Gherkin
Gherkin
was purchased for £700 million by the Safra Group, controlled by the Brazilian billionaire Joseph Safra.[8] Tenants[edit] As of January 2015, current occupiers of the building include the following:

Standard Life SuperDerivatives
SuperDerivatives
- now owned by Intercontinental Exchange Allied World Assurance Regus ION Trading Kirkland & Ellis Deutsche Pfandbrief
Pfandbrief
bank AG Hunton & Williams Coleman Bennett International Consultancy Plc Falcon Group IPsoft Live Free Swiss Re Lab49 The Clothing Factory RightShip Algotechs

Additionally, retailers and restaurants operate from the site, such as The Sterling and Bridge's Newsagent. See also[edit]

London
London
portal Architecture portal

Landmarks of London Diagrid List of tallest buildings and structures in London Mathematics and architecture Torre Glòries, a similar-shaped building in Barcelona Willis Building, another Norman Foster building

References[edit]

^ " Gherkin
Gherkin
London".  ^ "The Gherkin".  ^ a b c "30 St Mary Axe, London". Skanska. Archived from the original on 4 February 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2010.  ^ a b c d e f g "30 St Mary Axe". Emporis. Retrieved 4 February 2010.  ^ Worsley, Giles (28 April 2004). "Glory of the Gherkin". The Daily Telegraph. London.  ^ a b "30 St Marys Axe, London
London
- Building #58". Skyscrapernews.com. Retrieved 3 June 2014.  ^ UK Retail Price Index
Retail Price Index
inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 6 November 2017.  ^ a b " Gherkin
Gherkin
bought by Brazilian banking giant for £700m" (Press release). The Daily Telegraph. 10 November 2014.  ^ 30 St Mary Axe
St Mary Axe
at Emporis ^ "30 St Mary Axe". Emporis. Retrieved 4 February 2010.  ^ a b "1993: IRA bomb devastates City of London". BBC News. 24 April 1993. Archived from the original on 2 February 2010. Retrieved 2 February 2010.  ^ "30 St Mary Axe
St Mary Axe
(The Gherkin)". Arup. Archived from the original on 18 February 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2010.  ^ a b "'Erotic gherkin' for London
London
skyline". BBC News. 23 August 2000. Archived from the original on 7 February 2010. Retrieved 7 February 2010.  ^ Lane, Megan (5 July 2007). "Extreme restoration". BBC News. Archived from the original on 7 February 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2010.  ^ Murray-West, Rosie (30 September 2000). "Baltic backs legal fight over 'gherkin'". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 6 February 2010.  ^ a b "History – 1949-Today". Baltic Exchange. Archived from the original on 4 February 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2010.  ^ " Baltic Exchange
Baltic Exchange
Memorial Glass". www.rmg.co.uk. National Maritime Museum. Retrieved 2 December 2014.  ^ "No gherkins please, we're British". The Guardian. London. 6 August 1999. Retrieved 28 November 2009.  ^ "Issues – The newsletter of GMW Architects" (PDF). GMW Architects. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 October 2007. Retrieved 6 February 2010.  ^ a b c d e Spring, Martin (2008). "30 St Mary Axe: A gherkin to suit all tastes". Building.co.uk. Retrieved 7 February 2010.  ^ Hossenally, Rooksana. "The Gherkin, London, UK". EasyVoyage.co.uk. Retrieved 6 February 2010.  ^ Bar-hillel, Mira; Harris, Ed (2005). "Safety fear over Gherkin". London
London
Evening Standard. Retrieved 4 February 2010.  ^ "Building prize for 'icon Gherkin'". BBC News. 16 October 2004.  ^ Eden, Richard (26 June 2011). "Architect behind the Gherkin
Gherkin
says he has finished designing strangely shaped edifices". The Daily Telegraph. London.  ^ Sandhu, Sukhdev (21 June 2006). "Sex on the skyline". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 6 February 2010.  ^ "Keith Mansfield 2009 on Johnny Mackintosh and the spirit of London". BFKbooks. 2009. Retrieved 19 February 2010.  ^ Davey, Jenny (16 September 2006). "Prize Gherkin
Gherkin
put up for sale". The Times. London. Archived from the original on 4 February 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2010.  ^ Walsh, Fiona (6 February 2007). " Gherkin
Gherkin
sold for £600m". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 4 February 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2010.  ^ Inman, Phillip (6 February 2007). "Gherkin's £600m sale sets London property record". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 4 February 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2010.  ^ "Why Swiss RE Would Sell The Gherkin... - Article #720". Skyscrapernews.com. 19 September 2006. Retrieved 3 June 2014.  ^ "IVG seeks compensation from former managers over Gherkin
Gherkin
deal". Property Mall. 10 December 2013.  ^ Phipps, Nick (23 February 2010). "Sky's City Studio: 'Don't Mention The G-Word'". London: Sky News. Archived from the original on 1 February 2012. Retrieved 29 November 2010.  ^ "United Kingdom: The Gherkin : Events Hire". hirespace.com. Retrieved 17 January 2014.  ^ Macalister, Terry; Kollewe, Julia (24 April 2014). "Gherkin's salad days over amid financial pickle for London
London
tower". The Guardian. London.  ^ " Deloitte
Deloitte
appointed Receivers to 30 St Mary Axe" (Press release). Deloitte. 24 April 2014. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to 30 St Mary Axe.

Official website Norman Foster's site about the project

v t e

Emporis
Emporis
Skyscraper
Skyscraper
Award

Sofitel New York Hotel
Sofitel New York Hotel
(2000) One Wall Centre
One Wall Centre
(2001) Kingdom Centre
Kingdom Centre
(2002) 30 St Mary Axe
St Mary Axe
(2003) Taipei 101
Taipei 101
(2004) Turning Torso
Turning Torso
(2005) Hearst Tower (2006) Het Strijkijzer
Het Strijkijzer
(2007) Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower
Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower
(2008) Aqua (2009) Hotel Porta Fira
Hotel Porta Fira
(2010) 8 Spruce Street
8 Spruce Street
(2011) Absolute World
Absolute World
(2012) The Shard
The Shard
(2013) Wangjing SOHO
Wangjing SOHO
(2014) Shanghai Tower
Shanghai Tower
(2015)

v t e

Skyscrapers over 140 metres in the United Kingdom

Completed

Liverpool

West Tower

London

10 Upper Bank Street 20 Fenchurch Street 22 Marsh Wall 25 Bank Street 30 St. Mary Axe 40 Bank Street 8 Canada Square Baltimore Tower Broadgate
Broadgate
Tower BT Tower Citigroup Centre Guy's Hospital
Guy's Hospital
Tower Heron Tower Leadenhall Building One Canada Square One Churchill Place Pan Peninsula The Shard South Bank Tower St George Wharf Tower Strata SE1 Tower 42

Manchester

Beetham Tower

Under construction

London

1 Blackfriars 100 Bishopsgate 22 Bishopsgate 250 City Road
250 City Road
Tower 1 Canada Water Building C4 Heron Quays West Highpoint Landmark Pinnacle Maine Tower Manhattan Loft Gardens Newfoundland Quay One Nine Elms
One Nine Elms
1 & 2 Principal Tower The Scalpel South Quay Plaza Wardian East & West Towers

Manchester

Deansgate Square
Deansgate Square
(South, East and West Towers)

Approved

Birmingham

Regal Tower

London

1 Leadenhall Street 40 Leadenhall Street 69-71 Bondway North Quay One Park Drive Principal Place Riverside South Spire London Wood Wharf

Manchester

Deansgate Square
Deansgate Square
(North Tower) Piccadilly
Piccadilly
Tower St. John's Tower Trinity Islands (Towers V and X)

Proposed

Liverpool

Shanghai Tower

v t e

London
London
landmarks

Buildings and structures

Bridges

Albert Bridge Blackfriars Bridge Hungerford Bridge and Golden Jubilee Bridges Lambeth Bridge London
London
Bridge Millennium Footbridge Southwark Bridge Tower Bridge Vauxhall Bridge Waterloo Bridge Westminster Bridge

Entertainment venues

Cinemas

Empire, Leicester Square BFI IMAX Odeon, Leicester Square

Football stadia

Wembley Stadium
Wembley Stadium
(national stadium) Craven Cottage
Craven Cottage
(Fulham) The Den
The Den
(Millwall) Emirates Stadium
Emirates Stadium
(Arsenal) Loftus Road
Loftus Road
(Queens Park Rangers) London
London
Stadium (West Ham United) Selhurst Park
Selhurst Park
(Crystal Palace) Stamford Bridge (Chelsea) The Valley (Charlton Athletic) White Hart Lane
White Hart Lane
(Tottenham Hotspur)

Other major sports venues

All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club The Championship Course
The Championship Course
(rowing) Crystal Palace National Sports Centre Lord's
Lord's
(cricket) Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park The Oval
The Oval
(cricket) Twickenham Stadium
Twickenham Stadium
(rugby)

Theatres

Adelphi Apollo Victoria Coliseum Criterion Dominion Lyceum Old Vic Palladium Royal National Theatre Royal Opera House Shakespeare's Globe Theatre Royal, Drury Lane Theatre Royal Haymarket Vaudeville

Other

Alexandra Palace Brixton Academy ExCeL Hammersmith Apollo O2 Arena Royal Albert Hall Royal Festival Hall Wembley Arena

Government

10 Downing Street Admiralty Arch Bank of England City Hall County Hall Guildhall Horse Guards Mansion House National Archives Old Bailey Palace of Westminster Royal Courts of Justice Scotland Yard SIS Building

Museums and galleries

British Museum Cutty Sark Golden Hinde HMS Belfast Imperial War Museum Madame Tussauds Museum of London National Gallery National Maritime Museum Natural History Museum Royal Academy of Arts Royal Observatory Science Museum Tate Britain Tate Modern Tower of London Victoria and Albert Museum

Places of worship

All Hallows-by-the-Tower BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Bevis Marks Synagogue Methodist Central Hall Regent's Park
Regent's Park
Mosque St Martin-in-the-Fields St Mary-le-Bow St Paul's Cathedral Southwark Cathedral Westminster Abbey Westminster Cathedral

Retailing

Shops

Fortnum & Mason Hamleys Harrods Liberty Peter Jones Selfridges

Shopping centres and markets

Borough Market Brent Cross Burlington Arcade Kensington Arcade Leadenhall Market The Mall Wood Green One New Change Petticoat Lane Market Royal Exchange Westfield London Westfield Stratford City

Royal buildings

Partly occupied by the Royal Family

Buckingham Palace Clarence House Kensington Palace St James's Palace

Unoccupied

Banqueting House Hampton Court Palace Kew Palace The Queen's Gallery Royal Mews, Buckingham Palace

Skyscrapers

Broadgate
Broadgate
Tower 1 Canada Square 8 Canada Square 25 Canada Square 1 Churchill Place 20 Fenchurch Street Heron Tower Leadenhall Building The Shard St George Wharf Tower 30 St Mary Axe Tower 42

Structures

Albert Memorial ArcelorMittal Orbit Big Ben Cleopatra's Needle Crystal Palace transmitting station London
London
Eye London
London
Wall Marble Arch The Monument Nelson's Column Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain
Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain
("Eros") Thames Barrier Wellington Arch

Transport

City Airport Heathrow Airport Charing Cross station Clapham Junction station Euston station King's Cross station Liverpool
Liverpool
Street station London
London
Bridge station Paddington station St Pancras station Stratford station Victoria station Waterloo station Victoria Coach Station Emirates Air Line cable car

Other

Barbican Estate Battersea Power Station British Library BT Tower Kew Gardens Lambeth Palace Lloyd's building London
London
Zoo Oxo Tower St Bartholomew's Hospital Smithfield Market Somerset House

Parks

Royal Parks

Bushy Park Green Park Greenwich Park Hampton Court Park Hyde Park Kensington Gardens Regent's Park Richmond Park St. James's Park

Other

Battersea Park Burgess Park Clapham Common College Green Epping Forest Finsbury Park Gunnersbury Park Hampstead Heath Holland Park Mitcham Common Osterley Park Trent Park Victoria Park Wandsworth Common Wimbledon Common

Squares and public spaces

Covent Garden Horse Guards Parade Leicester Square Oxford Circus Parliament Square Piccadilly
Piccadilly
Circus Sloane Square Trafalgar Square

Streets

Aldwych Baker Street Bishopsgate Bond Street Carnaby Street Chancery Lane Charing Cross Road Cheapside Cornhill Denmark Street Fenchurch Street Fleet Street Haymarket Jermyn Street Kensington High Street King's Road Lombard Street The Mall Oxford Street Park Lane Piccadilly Portobello Road Regent Street Shaftesbury Avenue Sloane Street Strand Tottenham Court Road Victoria Embankment Whitehall

v t e

City of London

City of London
London
Corporation

Parks and open spaces

Wards

Aldersgate Aldgate Bassishaw Billingsgate Bishopsgate Bread Street Bridge Broad Street Candlewick Castle Baynard Cheap Coleman Street Cordwainer Cornhill Cripplegate Dowgate Farringdon Within Farringdon Without Langbourn Lime Street Portsoken Queenhithe Tower Vintry Walbrook

Enclaves

Inner Temple Middle Temple

Localities

Barbican Bishops Square Blackfriars Broadgate Farringdon Holborn Minories Smithfield Temple

Attractions

20 Fenchurch Street Bank of England
Bank of England
Museum Barbican Centre Clockmakers' Museum College of Arms Dr Johnson's House Finsbury Circus Guildhall Art Gallery Leadenhall Market London
London
Mithraeum London
London
Stone Mansion House The Monument Museum of London One New Change Prince Henry's Room Royal Exchange St Paul's Cathedral Smithfield Market

Notable structures

2 Hare Court 2 King's Bench Walk 30 St Mary Axe Aldgate
Aldgate
Pump Bank of England Bevis Marks Synagogue Golden Boy of Pye Corner Guildhall Heron Tower Holborn
Holborn
Circus Lloyd's building London
London
Stock Exchange Merchant Taylors' Hall National Firefighters Memorial Old Bailey Old Billingsgate
Billingsgate
Market Tower 42

Civil parishes

List of civil parishes in the City of London

Bridges

Blackfriars Bridge Blackfriars Railway Bridge Cannon Street Railway Bridge Holborn
Holborn
Viaduct London
London
Bridge Millennium Footbridge Southwark Bridge

Rail and tube stations

 Aldgate   Bank–Monument  Barbican    Blackfriars   Cannon Street  City Thameslink  Fenchurch Street      Liverpool
Liverpool
Street  Mansion House   Moorgate  St. Paul's  Tower Gateway

Topics

Coat of arms Flag History Listed buildings

at Grade I at Grade II*

Livery companies Lord Lieutenants Lord Mayors Lord Mayor's Show Public art and memorials Sheriffs Street names

.