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A Closer Look: Office Space in The Gherkin

A Closer Look: Office Space in The Gherkin

The Gherkin: one of the capital’s most recognisable office buildings, and an enduring icon of the City of London.

Officially titled 30 St Mary Axe, the property has almost as many pseudonyms as it does floors, including the more common Swiss Re Building or favourite The Gherkin, to alternatives such as The Bullet and the Cucumber Building.

There are currently three floors of serviced office space in the building, which have been refitted to a high standard that reflects the property’s prestige and contemporary design.

Commissioned by insurance company Swiss Re, construction started in 2001 of a cylindrical 41-storey, 591 ft tall structure that would be built on the site of the Baltic Exchange building, which was damaged beyond repair following an IRA bomb explosion in 1992.

Initially designed to follow a standard rectangular shape like that of its predecessor, restrictions on the style of the new property were relaxed after it was discovered that the historic Baltic Exchange was too severely damaged to be reconstructed or renovated.

Plans were then put forward for a new building with a “radical approach”, and according to architects Foster & Partners, the building was generated by a radial plan with a focus on energy conservation and workplace environment. Its profile and the gaps between each floor maximises natural ventilation, while the trapped air in-between the floors also serves as insulation.

Placing emphasis on comfort, the design of the tower allows for column-free floor space, natural light and incredible views, while atria throughout the building allow for natural break-out areas and meeting points. These were consciously included to create social places, which also serve to distribute fresh air throughout the property as tenants open and close windows – reducing its dependence on climate control.

As such, the building reportedly uses up to half the energy consumed by traditional air-conditioned office towers.

Providing over 820,000 sq ft of retail and office space, including a shopping arcade accessed from a newly created public plaza, the property supplies several floors of serviced space with high quality furnishings, amenities and on-site support services.

Image left: View of the Gherkin and Canary Wharf beyond, taken from Tower 42.

Central London Account Manager at, Kirsty Lees, visited the serviced offices in the Gherkin recently.

“The business centre is on the 28th floor and the views are AMAZING,” she said. “You can see the River Thames, Olympic Stadium and more, so if you have a client who wants views it has to be here. It has odd shaped offices which mean extra space – some of the offices are huge!”

Kirsty said that the restaurant and bar on the top floors have a “brilliant atmosphere” with a “real buzz about it”, which also features a spectacular 360-degree panorama across the capital.

As the icing on the cake, she added: “And you get the prestige of saying you’re in the Gherkin…”

Find out more about office space in The Gherkin and enquire online at

Related articles: The ‘Closer Look’ Series…

If you’ve got an interesting or unique business centre that you want to nominate for our ‘Closer Look’ series, leave the details in the comment box below or send an email to Jo and Simon at

Image source – Harshil Shah

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Author: | June 24, 2011 | 0 Comments

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