30 St Mary Ax

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30 St Mary Ax
Swiss Re Tower
London UK Gherkin-01.jpg
Basic data
Place: London , UK
Construction time : 2001-2004
Status : Built
Architectural style : Modern
Architect : Norman Foster
Technical specifications
Height : 180 m
Height to the roof: 180 m
Rank (height) : 9
Floors : 41
Elevators : 23
Usable area : 64,470 m²
Building material : Glass, steel, concrete
Building-costs: € 200,000,000

30 St Mary Ax , often The Gherkin called ( English for gherkin ), is a 180 m high skyscraper in the financial district of the City of London . It was built as the office tower of the reinsurance company Swiss Re and is therefore also known as the Swiss Re Building or Swiss Re Tower .

The building was erected between 2001 and 2004 by the architects Ken Shuttleworth and Norman Foster on the site of the Baltic Exchange , which was destroyed by an IRA attack . In its external shape it resembles the Torre Glòries, which was built around the same time in Barcelona .

Building and construction

The 41-storey building was occupied in April 2004. 10,548 tonnes of steel were used for the construction carried out by the Austrian steel construction company Waagner Biró . The structure consists of intertwined helical strands , a kind of hose braid. This shape results in a cladding consisting entirely of triangular and diamond-shaped glass elements.

The building owners and designers attached particular importance to sustainability and energy efficiency . The total area of ​​the building is 47,310 m². The office space does not cover the entire interior, but is arranged in a ring. The core of the building supplies the individual floors with energy and water. Cover plates and angular windows open and close depending on the outside weather, controlled by computer systems. There are atriums with up to six floors, which provide natural ventilation. The air conditioning is only active in extreme weather conditions.


Swiss Re, as the original owner, sold the building to the German real estate group IVG Immobilien for 630 million British pounds (approx. 950 million euros) in February 2007 , but will continue to use it as the main tenant (55% until at least 2031).

The skyscraper was placed under administrative administration in April 2014. In July 2014 "The Gherkin" was offered for sale for around 820 million euros and was bought by Joseph Safra in early November 2014 for 925 million euros .

Appearance in movies

The 2006 film Basic Instinct 2 is largely set at 30 St Mary Ax. In Match Point from 2005 (directed by Woody Allen ), the main character Chris Wilton has his office at 30 St Mary Ax. The office of the securities dealer Max Skinner is also in the film A Good Year in the "Gherkin". The tower can also be seen briefly at the beginning of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince . In the episode The Blind Banker of the English miniseries Sherlock , the building is shown several times, including from the balcony perspective from above. In the movie Thor - The Dark Kingdom, Thor and his antagonist Malekith slide down the glass facade of the building during a fight.

The building itself stars in the documentary Building The Gherkin . The film accompanies the entire creation process of 30 St Mary Ax from 1999 to 2005.

The future of the building and its eventual collapse after a fictional disappearance of mankind is dealt with in episode 3 of the second season of the documentary fiction series Future Without People (“The Cradle of Civilization”, USA 2010).

In the seventh season of Skins , Effy Stonem works in the building.

See also

Web links

Commons : 30 St Mary Ax  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Entry on londonarchitecture.co.uk (English)
  2. ^ Message on tagesschau.de from February 5, 2007 ( Memento from December 5, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  3. spiegel.de: Controversial skyscrapers: Sour-pickle time for small investors
  4. Handelsblatt.de: London's biggest cucumber goes to Brazilians

Coordinates: 51 ° 30 ′ 51 ″  N , 0 ° 4 ′ 48 ″  W.