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The Gherkin, London


30 St Mary Axe is a building in London's main financial district, the City of London. It is widely known by the nickname "The Gherkin", and occasionally as The Swiss Re Tower, Swiss Re Building, Swiss Re Centre, or just Swiss Re, after its previous owner but principal occupier. It is 180 m (590 ft) tall, making it the second-tallest building in the City of London, after Tower 42, and the sixth-tallest in London as a whole. The design is by Pritzker Prize-winner Sir Norman Foster and ex-partner Ken Shuttleworth and Arup engineers. It was constructed by Skanska of Sweden between 2001 and 2004.

The architects, Foster and Partners, crafted a distinctive cone-like shape to reduce the wind turbulence around the Gherkin. Its design won the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize for the best new building by a RIBA architect in 2004. It was the first time that the prize jury was unanimous in their decision. The building also won the 2003 Emporis Skyscraper Award for the best skyscraper in the world completed that year. It was constructed by Skanska, completed in 2004 and opened on 28 April 2004.

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