30 St Mary Axe
30 St Mary Axe is a building in the City of London, London, United Kingdom. The site of the building was, until 1992, the location of the Baltic Exchange building. On April 10, 1992 the IRA detonated a bomb close to the Exchange, almost completely destroying it and severely damaging buildings close by.
Following the detonation of the IRA bomb, English Heritage and the Corporation of London insisted that any redevelopment on the site must restore the building'Baltic_Exchange" title ="Baltic Exchange">Baltic Exchange was unable to meet the financial requirements of such a development and the site was sold to Trafalgar House in 1995. Most of the remaining structures on the site were then carefully dismantled whilst the interior of Exchange Hall and the facade were preserved and sealed from the elements. Later assessment by English Heritage determined that the damage was far more severe than had previously been thought, and they dropped their insistence on restoration, a decision that led to much controversy.
On August 23, 2000, the Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, granted planning permission to build a much larger building on the site. The new building was completed in 2004, opening on April 28, and was designed by the architects Foster and Partners . Its unusual cone-like shape is designed so that wind will pass easily around the building. It has been variously nicknamed the Gherkin, the Erotic Gherkin, the Crystal Phallus and the Towering Innuendo despite resembling neither a gherkin or a penis. The primary occupant of the building is Swiss Re reinsurers which leads to the building's other common name, the Swiss Re Tower. 30 St Mary Axe won the RIBA Stirling Prize for the best new building by a RIBA architect in 2004. It was the first time that the prize jury were unanimous in their decision.
- Official homepage
- Photos of the building from different sites across the city
- Campaign to save the old Baltic Exchange
de:30 St Mary Axe fr:30 St Mary Axe