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30 St Mary Axe

City of London

Swiss Re

Foster and Partners

The Gherkin, by Foster and Partners, replaced the bomb-damaged grade II* listed Baltic Exchange, in preference to a scheme to rebuild the hall and connect it to a new ground-scraper. The consultancy helped to assess the condition of the listed fabric and provided guidance on the urban form and height of the proposals. To the consultancy is owed the concept of a concentric building in a square piazza, in opposition to those who wanted to see the historic street lines expressed. Norman Foster and Ken Shuttleworth conceived the diagrid pinecone form and Robin Partington developed it as a building under their supervision. The consultancy was influential in maintaining the integrity of the diagrid during value engineering. It also produced the townscape assessment chapter of the Environmental Statement, the first of its kind for a high building in the UK. English Heritage agreed, in this case, that excellence in contemporary architecture can justify the loss of incomplete heritage assets and complement our historic fabric

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