Can a single building impact the career of an architect, the image of a global company and even the skyline of a big city? Just a month and a day after the disastrous attack on the Wolrd Trade Center in New York, the first steel beam of a new tower is erected in London. One question is on everybody's mind; is it the right decision to build a new iconic tower in the midts of London's finacial district, on a site that has been bombed before? The 40 storey steel and glass tower sparks further controversy. Norman Foster, one of Britain's most visionaryarchitects, calls his design for the new Swiss Re London headquarters "radical - socially, technically, architecturally and spacially". In fact, its size and shape are so radical that it is almost immediately named "the erotic gherkin". Will the Gherkin become the landmark they dream of?
Building the Gherkin
'Mishaps and triumphs, clashes and elation close up' Architectural Digest