November 17, 2004
When was 'the Gherkin' built?

A searching user asks: "when was the gherkin built?"

30 St Mary Axe, as the building officially is known, was granted planning permission August 23, 2000, and the building was completed in 2004, opening on April 28. The building was designed by the architects Foster and Partners.

The building is known among Londoners as "the erotic gherkin", the Swiss Re tower and many other names. It was open to the public during the London Open House weekend 2004 and may be so in future open house events as well.

Sources: Wikipedia: 30 St Mary Axe, 30 St Mary Axe official homepage

See also photos of the gherkin near completion (Photos (C) me).

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While the outside of the building was completed in 2004, many of the floors remain uncompleted.

The Gherkin has a nice bar that occupies the top floor, with the glass roof of the top of the building essentially forming an atrium for the bar. There is a restaurant one floor below. However, entrance is restricted to people who work in the building plus their guests.

I believe that only Swiss Re occupy the building at the moment. So if you want to go to the bar, and get the view before the next open day, find yourself a Swiss Re mate.

Interesting factoid about the Gherkin: Despite the building's curved look, every pane of glass in it is straight.

Posted by: Ben on November 17, 2004 05:52 PM

You might find this interesting:

Posted by: AA on November 22, 2004 11:57 AM

Almost -- the very top pane, at the centre of the dome, is curved. And they broke the first one by tightening it down too much and it had to be replaced(!)

And check out my pics -- the 'Stairs & Lift' pair were taken there as well as the obvious ones.

Posted by: L-Tel on January 27, 2005 04:10 PM

Very interesting, thanks! :)-lorazepam

Posted by: lorazepam on January 22, 2006 04:41 PM
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© Anders Jacobsen
[ photography]