The Gherkin is a skyscraper in the financial district of London with an innovative spiral design that resembles a pickled cucumber. It is now one of the most recognizable structures in London’s skyline due to its curious appearance and importance to the economy. The 590.5-foot (180-meter) tall structure’s design enables the tower to use around half the power of most buildings of its size. The majority of the building is used for offices and residences.
Capture photos of the Gherkin from the River Thames. It has become an important and easily recognizable feature of London’s skyline. As it is mainly used for offices and residences, it is not always open to the public. Guests of residents can enjoy the restaurant and bar at the top of the tower, which has an unobstructed 360-degree view of the city.
The general public can tour the building during the annual Open House Weekend London. Reserve an Open House Weekend ticket in advance to look around the building.
At any time of the year you can stroll around the adjoining plaza to gaze up at the towering structure. Despite its rounded appearance, the only curved piece of glass in the building is the arch at the top. Dine at one of the restaurants in the square or enjoy a coffee at a café as you watch business associates walking past.
The official name of the building is 30 St. Mary Axe, but it is commonly referred to as The Gherkin, the British word for pickled cucumber, due to its shape. It stands on the site of the former financial building, Baltic Exchange, which was destroyed by a bomb detonated by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in 1992. The Gherkin was completed in 2003 and opened in 2004.
The Gherkin sits in the financial district of London. There are several London Underground and many bus services in the area.