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THE GHERKIN

NORMAN FOSTER

HISTORY

FROM BOMBING OF BALTIC EXCHANGE TO THE


BUILDING OF THE GHERKIN
The beginning of the
Gherkin's birth starts
in 1992 as an
explosion rocked the
financial district of
London.
The Provisional IRA
detonated an
explosive device near
the Baltic Exchange
and catastrophically

HISTORY

MILLENIUM TOWER
The Baltic exchange building was torn
down and city officials decided to put a
larger tower in its place. The Gherkin
began as a much larger building that
was dubbed the "Millennium Tower"
but which failed to materialize. Once
the original design was shot down,
Norman Foster created the scaleddown version that now sits at 30 St
Mary Axe.

HISTORY

The gherkin
Construction began in 2001
and the Gherkin was finished
in December of 2003.
It didn't open for the public
until almost half of a year
later.

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe


Height to top of dome: 179.8
m
Height to highest occupied
floor level: 167.1 m
Number of floors above
ground: 40
Number of basement levels:
single basement across whole
site
Largest floor external
diameter (lvl 17): 56.15 m
Site area: 0.57 hectares (1.4
acres)
Net accommodations areas:
Total = 64,470 m
Office 46,450 m2
Retail 1,400 m2
Office floor-floor: 4.15 m

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe


Total weight of steel (from
Arup Xsteel model): 8,358
tonnes of which:
29% is in the diagrid
24% core columns
47% beams
Total number of primary steel
pieces: 8 348
Total length: 54.56 km
Diagrid column sizes:
Ground level2: 508mm f,
40mm thick
Level 3638: 273mm f,
12.5mm thick
Foundations 750mm
diameter straight-shafted piles
into
London Clay

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe


Number of piles: 333
Total length of piles: 9 km
Total design capacity:
117,000 Tonnes
Design Capacity/Weight of
Steel = 14tonne Load/tonne of
steel
Design Capacity/Built Area
=1.814tonne load/sqm
Load on Pile = Average 351
Tonne Load/Pile
Hoop design tension at level
2: 7 116 kN
Perimeter column maximum
design load: 15,460 kN
Core column maximum
design load: 33,266 kN
Occupancy = 4,000 workers

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

INTRODUCTION
Ground floor and first floor consist of reception and a series of shops
at outer edge of the building with the arcade.
Third to sixteenth floor is the office of swiss re insurance company.
There are private dining area at 38-40 floors.
The basement is used for the parking (only two wheelers , no four
wheelers are allowed in the parking).

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

INTRODUCTION
The design provides
column-free floor space,
light and views,
and incorporates many
sustainable building design
features.
Spiralling light wells allow
the maximum amount of
sunlight
to flood the interiors.
Atria between the radiating
fingers of each floor link
together vertically to form
a series of informal breakout

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

SITE PLAN

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

INTRODUCTION

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

INTRODUCTION

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

INTRODUCTION

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

INTRODUCTION

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

INTRODUCTION

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

INTRODUCTION

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

CONSTRUCTION

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

FOUNDATION
CONCRETE PILES
333 PILES
2.5 feet (750 mm) in
diameter
98 feet (25m) deep
Because of site restrictions
and in order to create a
monolithic foundation, all
piles and pile caps were
poured on one day

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

GENERAL STRUCTURE
THERE ARE TWO PRIMARY
STRUCTURES
The Diagrid is the main
structure (resisting
horizontal and gravity
loads).
The Core (resisting gravity
loads)

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

Design concept

Diagrid exterior structure


Diagrid nodes and
connections
Gerkin shape
5 degree rotation of floor
plates wedge shaped
light wells

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

Structural system
DIAGRID+CORE

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

Structural system
DIAGRID
(diagonal + grid) is a design for
constructing large buildings with
steel that
creates triangular structures with
diagonal support beams. It requires
less structural
steel than a conventional steel
frame .
It obviates the need for large corner
columns and provides a better
distribution of load in the case of a
compromised building.
Vladimir Shukhov was a Russian

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

Structural system
DIAGRID
A-frame

Aluminum coated tube


steel
Series of two stories high,
end to end arrangement
One full diamond is one
stories tall

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

Diagrid system

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

CONNECTIONS
There is a special connector that
transfers loads, both vertically
and horizontally at the nodes
which are rigid monolithic and
welded together.
Core
Rigid connections of steel
beams and columns.
Diagrid
Rigid node connections at
intersecting members.

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

Gravity load
Interior core
The core takes a portion of the
vertical gravity loads and is a
secondary structure to the
diagrid.
The core acts as a tie back to the
hoop structure preventing splay.
The structure system of the core
is rigid using moment of frames.

Provides rigidity
Resists torsion or
twisting/bending

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

Shape
Wind load
The overall cylindrical shape
allows for the wind to move
around the building.
Because of the shape, it
decreased the buffetting of the
wind, reduced it vibration and
diminished fluttering

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

AIR
Lateral loading
These loads are all absorbed
through the glass faade and
eventually transferred to the
diagrid.
The pressurized air from the
wind passes into the building
through the a natural ventilation
system, which is incorporated
through a double skin.

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

NATURAL VENTILATION AND LIGHTING SYSTEM


Differing air pressures and double skin
faade allow for natural ventilation
Six spiralling light wells allow daylight
to flood down onto the floors
Windows and blinds are computer
controlled
Solar blinds to reclaim or reject heat
Windows open when external
temperature is between 20C and 26C
and
wind speed is less than 10 mph
The shafts are essentially light wells in
that light travels through these

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

ENERGY USE

Temperature can be controlled in


several separate zones on each floor
Building can potentially turn off
mechanical temperature system
40% of the year
Main energy source is gas
Building was supposed to consume
50% less energy
The building uses open windows and
natural ventilation to reduce energy
costs.

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

SUSTAINABLE BUILDING

The tower is aerodynamically


designed to reduce wind load on the
structure, whilst the lower part
tapers so that wind wraps around
the tower.
The six fingers of accommodation on
each floor, configured with light
wells in between, maximize daylight
penetration.
The faade design with advance
glazing technologies, ventilated
cavities and blinds , provides up to
85% solar protection.
Gas is the main fuel used hence it
will only generate half the carbon

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

MATERIALS

35 km of steel, 10 thousand tons


were used

24,000 square meters of glass were


used for the exterior of the building,
equivalent to five football fields.

The building was designed to use


recycled or recyclable materials
whenever possible.

The elements of the facade.


Openable glass screen.
Perforated aluminium louvers
(internal

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

MATERIALS

The glazing to the office areas


consist of a double glazed outer
and a
single glazed inner screen.

Sandwiched in between is the


ventilated cavity which reduces
heating and
cooling requirements.

The solar-control blinds intercept


solar gain before it enters the office
environment.
The faade is clad with double-paned

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

EXTERNAL CLADDING SYSTEM

The buildings exterior cladding


systems consists of full glazed,
doubleskinned
faade comprising approximately of
5,500 flat triangular and
diamond shaped glass panels. These
metal and glass prefabricated panels
are fixed to the diagrid.
Despite its curved shape, there is
actually only one piece of curved glass
the lens at the top of the building
which is 2.4m in diameter and weighs

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

CIRCULATION
Each of the two main stairwells contains 1,037 stairs.
The 23 lifts vary in velocity from 1 metre per second to 6 meters
per second.

THE GHERKIN CHALLENGE

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

Norman foster
Lord Norman Foster, in full Lord
Norman Foster of Thames Bank,
original name in full Norman Robert
Foster (born June 1, 1935,
Manchester, England) prominent
British architect known for his sleek,
modern buildings made of steel and
glass.
He is one of Britain's most prolific
architects of his generation. In 1999
he was awarded the Pritzker
Architecture Prize, often referred to as
the Nobel Prize of architecture. In
2009 Foster was awarded the Prince
of Asturias Award in the Arts category.

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

Norman foster
Foster was trained at the University of Manchester (195661) in
England and Yale University (196162) in New Haven,
Connecticut. Beginning in 1963, he worked in partnership with
Richard and Su Rogers and his wife, Wendy Foster, in a firm
called Team 4. In 1967 he established his own firm called Foster
Associates (later Foster + Partners). Fosters earliest works
explored the idea of a technologically advanced shed,
meaning a structure surrounded by a lightweight shell or
envelope.

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

Norman foster
Fosters first buildings to
receive international
acclaim were the Sainsbury
Centre for the Visual Arts
(197478) in Norwich,
England, a vast, airy glassand-metal-paneled shed,
and the Hong Kong and
Shanghai Banking
Corporation headquarters
(197986) in Hong Kong, a
futuristic steel-and-glass
office building with a
stepped profile.

SAINSBURY CENTRE

HSBC BUILDING

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

Norman foster
The recipient of numerous
awards for his work
including the Pritzker Prize
(1999), the Japan Art
Associations Praemium
Imperiale prize for
architecture (2002), and the
Aga Khan Award (2007) for
his design of the Petronas
University of Technology in
MalaysiaFoster was
knighted in 1990 and
granted a life peerage in
1999.

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

Norman foster
inspiration
Norman was inspired by the
aircraft and the way that
streamlined bodies
interacted with the wind.
What makes it unique?
Diagrid structure, double
helix
Air ventilation system
with double skin shell
Rotation of floors to
incorporate vertical
lightwells

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

Norman foster
BIOMIMETIC ARCHITECTURE

The Gherkins shape,


structure and ventilation
scheme were all inspired by
a kind of sea creature
known as a glass sponge.
They have delicate,
elongated exoskeletons.
They filter nutrients from
water they suck in at their
base and expel from a hole
at the top. In this way this

Plaza with Arcadian garden

Panoramic dome at the top

provides 360 degree views of London

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

COST

Cost of land 90,000,000


The structure cost estimated
200,000,000 or
$266,260,443.i.e. 1,446.32Cr.
The building was privately owned
by Swiss Reinsurance Company.

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

ISSUE

On 25 April 2005, the


press reported that a
glass panel 590 ft tower
had fallen to the plaza
beneath on 18 April.
The plaza was sealed off,
but the building remained
open.
Engineers examined the
other 744 glass panels on
the building.
The cost of repair was
covered by main
contractor Skanska and
curtain wall supplier.

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

awards

Stirling prize , 2004


Special steel award, 2004
Best Central London
office Development ,
2004
Emporis Skycraper
award,2003
Best british innovation,
2003
Walpord award for British
excellence, 2003

The Gherkin30 St. Mary Axe

CONCLUSION
This building is an icon.
The Diagrid provides:
A unique structural
solution to an innovative
form.
An aerodynamic form,
reducing effects of wind
A response to external
and internal loading

Thank You

SHEENDE DIANNE S. PROCHINA


RAFAEL GIOVANNI D. PILOTOS