In our continuing series on iconic commercial properties we take a look at one of the most iconic and architecturally inspiring buildings in London; The Gherkin.
The Gherkin has in many respects become a London monument in its own right, and is seen by many as an iconic symbol of London, dominating its skyline since its opening in 2004. The building is a skyscraper in the financial district of the city of London and stands at 180 meters tall, making it the second highest building in London. Uniquely the Gherkin has a circumference of 178 meters at its widest point, which is only two meters less than its height, giving the building its rather distinctive appearance.
The building stands on the site of the former Baltic Exchange, which closed following damage caused by a bomb detonated in the area in 1992. Keen to redevelop the area, plans were put in motion by city officials to build a larger tower in its place. The Gherkin was designed by acclaimed architect Sir Norman Foster and was designed to be incredibly energy efficient. For example, thanks to the distinctive geometry of the building it reportedly uses 50% less energy than other similar building of comparable size. Interestingly the Gherkin was originally named the Swiss RE Building after the insurance company that commissioned it. It was later named after its street address, 30 ST Mary Axe, however thanks to its distinctive and eye catching shape it came to be known as the Gherkin.
Approximately 10,000 tonnes of steel were used in its construction, and there is the equivalent of 5 football pitches worth of glass covering its external surface. Thanks to the buildings 18 passenger lifts, 378 people can be transported through the building at speeds of up to 6m per second, which is rather handy given that the building has a total of 41 floors.
Owing to its unique and innovative design the Gherkin has won a number of awards including the Royal Institute of British Architecture's Stirling Prize. The building is currently primarily used as an office building and is home to the headquarters of a number of large companies. The building also houses a restaurant and bar offering breathtaking views over the city of London.
The Gherkin is undoubtedly one of the most iconic commercial buildings in London. However there are plenty of other commercial property investment opportunities to be had. Here at Prideview Properties we are commercial property experts and can help you take advantage of the investment opportunities out there. If you're looking for commercial property agents in London please do not hesitate to contact us and a member of our friendly team will be happy to help you with your enquiries.