by Abigail Meadows
30 St Mary Axe
30 St Mary Axe, more often called the Gherkin is an eye catching and prominent modern building in London, England.
The Gherkin was built in 2004, commissioned by Swiss Re, a reinsurance company. The 41 story building was designed in glass and steel by Foster and Partners. It was named the Swiss Re Building but when Swiss Re sold it, it was renamed 30 St Mary Axe (its address). It was dubbed the "Gherkin" because of its distinctive shape.
The Gherkin has a steel frame with circular floor plans. It has glass diamond shaped panels. The swirling striped pattern is the result of an energy saving system that allows air to flow upward.