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The Gherkin

 

The Gherkin is London’s most widely recognized example of contemporary architecture. It is also known as 30 St Mary Axe. This 41 floor building has a height of 180 meters and a total floor space of about 47,950 square meters. It was designed by the architect Norman Foster of the Foster and Partners architectural firm.

The structure is known as the Gherkin because of its 3D oval shape. The exterior of the building consists of 24,000 square meters of glass arranged in diamond-shaped panes. It has only one piece of carved glass in the whole building and that’s the lens at the top.

 

Quick Facts: –

  • The largest circumference of the Gherkin is 178 meters, only 2 meters less than the building’s height.
  • The construction of the building started in 2001 and it was finished in December 2003.
  • In the construction of this structure, more than 35 km of steel was used.
  • Each floor of the building rotates five degrees from the floor just below it.
  • This building stands on the site of the former Baltic Exchange, which was damaged by a bomb in 1992.
  • It consists of a total of nine aircraft warning lights that start to glow red as soon as it gets dark.
  • In April 2005, a window popped out of the structure and fell 28 floors to the ground.
  • Each stairwell of the building consists of a total of 1,037 steps.
  • The Gherkin has 18 passenger lifts that travel at a speed of six meters per second. Altogether they can transport 400 people.
  • It has six large shafts that work as a huge ventilation system. It cools down the entire building.
  • It has won various architectural awards, and was voted the most admired new building in 2005.

 

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