30 St. Mary Axe or the Gherkin or also known as the Swiss Re, is an iconic building located in London, United Kingdom. The building has over 47,950 m², mainly filled with offices and it was completed in 2004. This famous building was designed by architects from Norman Foster and partners. Norman was inspired by the design of aircraft and the way that streamlined bodies interacted with the wind. The design of the building has achieved many awards.
A presentation about the design concept is focused on diagrid exterior structure, diagrid nodes at connections, gherkin shape, 5-degree rotation of floor plates and wedge-shaped light wells. And the diagrid provides a unique structural solution to an innovative form, an aerodynamic form, reducing effects of wind, and a response to external and internal loading.
“By changing the ways we imagine the risks of climate change, terrorism, and globalisation, the design of 30 St Mary Axe mediated transformations in the City of London’s economy and governance.” Great article about how the Gherkin leveraged risk and became an icon.
30 St Mary Axe by Norman Foster – part 1 (link here), part 2 (link here), part 3 (link here), part 4 (link here) and part 5 (link here)
Detailed information in 5 parts about the design of this building with reduced energy consumption by use of natural ventilation whenever suitable, low façade heat gain and smart building control systems. Sustainability and natural ventilation are provided with windows opened 40% of the year and through six light wells act as a buffer zone to collect fresh air and control the speed and temperature as it flows through the building.