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30 St Mary Axe Modern Architecture London


What is the “30 St Mary Axe” Building?

30 St Mary Axe is a modern, sustainable building located in London’s financial district. The building is also widely known as the the Gherkin building and previously called the Swiss Re Building. It was built in 2003 and opened in 2004. In 1992 the Baltic Exchange (a trading center) was bombed, leaving an area for new architecture. 30 St Mary Axe took over this absent spot. The building is located on St Mary Axe Street, giving its name. The building has become an icon for London, as it is unique and very modern. 


Design and Architecture of the 30 St Mary Axe Building

The architects and engineer designed the building to consume half of the typical amount of energy that a similar building would use. Air spaces between each floor create 6 shafts for a natural ventilation system that insulates the office spaces between. For what seems to be a curved building, there is only one actual curved window at the very top of the building. The overall structure is very stiff and doesn’t require a lot of reinforcement because of its triangle perimeter.

Pictures from Foster and Partner’s Website

52748_1004_6 img6 img10 img11 img13 swiss re sketch

Quick Facts (from Google and Foster and Partner’s Website)

  • Address: 30 St Mary Axe, London, EC3A 8EP, United Kingdom
  • Construction started: 2001
  • Height: 591′ (180 m)
  • Architecture firm: Foster and Partners
  • Architects: Norman Foster, Ken Shuttleworth
  • Architectural styles: Sustainable architecture, High-tech architecture, Structural Expressionism
  • Structural Engineer: Arup
  • Quantity Surveyor: Gardiner & Theobold
  • M+E Engineer: Hilson Moran Partnership
  • Landscape Architect: Derek Lovejoy Partnership
  • Lighting Engineer: Speirs and Major

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