London Modern Architecture

London the Growing City



• 30 St Mary Axe, City of London/England/UK

• It stands on the former site of the Baltic Exchange Building, which was severely damaged on 10th April of 1992 by the explosion of a bomb placed by the IRA



• Foster + Partners

Photographic Art Print 'Air' by PASiNGA
'THE GHERKIN' OR '30 ST MARY AXE' | image centre


• Height: 179.8 m

• 41 floors + max. width is at the 16th floor

• Envelope of the building consists of 24,000 square meter of glass, roughly 5,500 flat triangular, diamond-shaped glass panels

• 23 lifts vary in velocity from 1meter per second to 6meter per second

• 2,000 square meter public plaza, enclosed by a low stonewall

• Building comprises 55km [34 miles] of steel

• Piles are sunk to an average depth of 27meter [88.5 feet] + the maximum loading per diagonal column is 1500 tonnes




Construction type: skyscraper

Structural material: steel + Façade material: glass

The curved, tapering structure is realised through the use of a diagonal steel structure called a diagrid, made from intersecting tubular steel sections which give vertical support to the floors, rendering the column-free space; the grid is highly resistant to wind loading + weight of 2,500tonnes; despite of the tower’s completely rounded shape, the only curved piece of glass is at the very top, known as the ‘lens’, it weighs 250kg [550 pounds] + is 2.4meter [7.9 feet] in diameter

Façade system: curtain wall

Architectural style: structural expressionism

Each floor is rotated by 5° from the plan of the floor below; • cavity between the outer layer + the inner screen acts as a buffer, reducing the need for additional cooling + heating; • The shape allows for the required quantity of office space without the lower levels overshadowing the surrounding buildings, when viewed from the street level; • It is the first environmentally sustainable skyscraper in London


State of The Art

• Completed Dec. 2003 and opened May 2004

• Use: commercial office, bar, restaurant, shop[s], observation floor is available

• Sold early Feb. 2007 for a price in excess of £ 600 Mill which at that time was a record for an office building in Britain

• Since completion it has become a landmark or even more an icon of London’s skyline


• Winner of the Emporis Skyscraper Award 2003

• RIBA Award winner 2004

• Won the 2004 RIBA Stirling Prize for Architecture

In 2006 the building was given the Civic Trust Award

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