Saturday, 24 April 2010

St Mary Axe

All of these pictures are taken from the same spot in St Mary Axe in the City of London and show the diversity of the London skyline.

Lloyds is a Richard Rogers building and was completed in 1986. Pipes, ducts and lifts are all exposed to maximise floor space within the building and allow maintenance to be conducted without disruption.

Lloyd’s insurance business dates back to 1860 and a coffee house in Tower Street where Edward Lloyd would meet with business men who had shipping connections. They would insure each others cargo and write their names under the ship owner’s slip. Hence the term ‘under-writers’.

The Heron Building, when completed in February 2011, will be the second tallest building in the country (until the Shard is completed) and the tallest in the City of London at 230 meters, 40 stores high. The top three floors will be restaurants and a sky bar with a roof top terrace providing London with it’s highest outside space.

Don’t know much about the Willis Building other than it is only 26 floors high but did cost an impressive £110 million to build.

The Gherkin and St Mary Axe.

The ‘Gherkin, or the Swiss RE building as it should be known, is a fantastic Norman Foster design. 41 floors high and costing £138 million to construct it contains 17 lifts and only 5 car parking spaces. I wonder who gets them. While the tower is wonderfully curved there is only one piece of curved glass in the entire building which is the piece that crowns it.

The original St Mary’s Axe Church was demolished in 1561 but the current building has been able to survive both the Great Fire of London and the Blitz. The name derives from the possession of one of three axes that beheaded St Ursula and her eleven thousand handmaidens in Cologne at the hands of the Huns, supposedly, in 383.

Posted by Picasa