Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Story of... The Gherkin

Who would have thought one of the most iconic building in the London skyline would be strikingly similar to the shape of a pickle?

The Gherkin is arguably the city’s most distinctive skyscraper and we’re not mad about it.

This may come as a surprise, but the building’s real name is not actually ‘The Gherkin’ - it’s 30 St Mary Axe. Located in the heart of the London’s financial district, construction on the building began in 2001 and was completed in 2003. Before it was on this site, the Baltic Exchange building was there, which unfortunately was heavily damaged in a 1992 bombing which destroyed much of the St Mary Axe street.

The Gherkin is 41 storeys in total and peaks at a height of 591 feet. Weirdly enough, the widest part of the building is 178 metres, which is just two metres less than the building’s height - isn’t that amazing? Over 7,429 panes of glass were used to build it, which doesn’t come as a surprise as the exterior is entirely covered in glass. It’s mainly used as an office building, since 33 of the 41 floors are used by businesses. The top three floors however, have an entirely different feel, as they belong to a nightclub called Searcy’s.

Some other fun facts about The Gherkin (by the numbers):
- 792 windows can open on the building
- the elevator inside travels at a speed of six metres per second (whoa!)
- the stairwells inside have 1,037 steps - who needs a gym membership when you have that?

There’s nothing we love more than making an impact on a skyline, which is why The Gherkin is so iconic. This piece of contemporary architecture is a force to be reckoned with in London, that’s for sure!