Happy ShopperThe 'Gherkin'

> The Gherkin is the popular nickname for the office block opened in 2004 at No.30 St Mary Axe. The road is named after the nearby Church of St Mary Axe (the 'axe' part referring to a relic kept in the church).

> The skin (1) of the building is double-glazed and the space between the glazing is ventilated to help with temperature control and reducing energy use. The Gherkin is said to use only half the energy of similar sized office towers.

> From ground-level to the aerial platform (1), behind the green tinted glass (2) there are rooms housing the communications equipment.

> Most of the panes of glass are completely flat - the only curved glass is the 'lens' (2) at the very top.

> The spiralling pattern (3) results from the floor layout within. Each floor has been rotated 5degrees relative to the floor below.

> The top of the tower has been kept as an open space to give an uninterrupted, all-round view. The lift gear has been moved from its usual site at the top down to a lower floor, and separate 'push' lifts need to be used for the last part of the journey.

> More details about the Gherkin can
be seen here.
The 'Gherkin' in City of London

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