30 st Mary Axe is also known as the Gherkin, London, England - etc365.life

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30 st Mary Axe is also known as the Gherkin, London, England

30 st Mary Axe is also known as the Gherkin, London, England
About 30 St Mary Axe:

The inaugural winner of the CTBUH 10 Year award, 30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin), helped to define a modern, open, and progressive image for one of the world’s oldest financial centers and set a benchmark in architectural quality for a new generation of tall buildings. The Gherkin has also been extraordinarily embraced by the public. In 2012, 3,000 people attended the Open City event to look inside, some queuing from 2 am, with twice that number turned away. As well as appearing on a first-class stamp, the tower has been used extensively in the promotion of London through advertising, notably as the symbol of London on Olympic bid posters. The building is not only a cultural success, but a commercial one, consistently commanding higher rents than its peers in the City. Thus, the Gherkin more than satisfies the conditions for “contribution to culture/iconography.”

Under the engineering performance heading, the building’s tapering form and diagonal bracing structure have afforded numerous benefits that continue today: programmatic flexibility, naturally ventilated internal social spaces, and ample, protected public space at the ground level. The Gherkin has performed exceptionally well in high winds – its robust aerodynamic form counteracts the movement that would otherwise be felt in a building of its height. Environmentally, this form, which slims toward the base and the apex, creates external pressure differentials that are exploited to drive a system of natural ventilation during the summer months and enabled the creation of a generous, comfortable plaza at street level, protected from high winds by the tower’s form.

The Gherkin’s accommodating structure has had follow-on benefits in the internal environment and occupant satisfaction category. Column-free floor plates and a fully glazed façade open the building to light and views. Atria between the radiating fingers of each floor link vertically to form a series of informal break-out spaces that spiral up the building. As the occupancy has shifted from sole tenant to more than 14 firms, these “green lungs” have continued to provide valuable internal social space within the dense medieval street pattern of London. Six radial fingers of accommodation on each floor, with light wells between, combine the benefits of both curvilinear and rectilinear configurations, maximizing the proportion of naturally lit office space.

The geometry of the tower demanded an innovative system for the fabrication of individual cladding panels, due to the high level of variation. The 3D computer model of the system was linked directly to the production line, with major implications for the subsequent construction of complex buildings around the world.

The design placed a high priority on flexibility. Every possible configuration within the building, from cellular offices to entirely open plan floors, persists today. The widening and slimming profile generates a variety of floor plates that can respond to different sectors and markets.

The building is exemplary in terms of environmental and energy performance. The natural ventilation system operates by importing external air into the building through the building management system (BMS)-controlled, motorized perimeter windows placed in each of the six lightwells. The adoption of natural ventilation varies, depending on tenant layout and requirements. Approximately 50 percent of occupants currently use the system.

An active, ventilated facade is used across the whole building. This comprises a low-emissivity, double-glazed clear external unit to the outside and a single-pane interior glass, separated by a ventilated cavity. Within the cavity are solar control blinds operated by the BMS. A proportion of office extract air is passed through the facade cavity, which takes the intercepted heat reflected by the blinds from the facade back to the outside via on-floor air handling units. This minimizes solar gain in the offices and makes the façade effectively part of the office extract system.

The pitch angle of the blinds is fixed by individual, BMS-controlled dedicated motors to an optimum position to reduce solar gain within the office spaces at all times while maximizing light transmission through the gaps in the blinds. Ten years on, this system is operational and effective in providing user comfort, while reducing energy demand.

The Gherkin is not just an icon; it also provides a contribution to the urban realm beyond itself.

The outdoor space is another great success of the project, where the building’s contribution to the city has been most evident: the plaza is full of people in the summer, with food markets, city events and a dynamic arts program illustrating its success

London’s first ecological tall building and an instantly recognizable addition to the city’s skyline, this headquarters designed for Swiss Re is rooted in a radical approach − technically, architecturally, socially and spatially. Forty-one stories high, it provides 46,400 square meters net of office space together with an arcade of shops and cafés accessed from a newly created piazza. At the summit is a club room that offers a spectacular 360-degree panorama across the capital.

Generated by a circular plan, with a radial geometry, the building widens in profile as it rises and tapers towards its apex. This distinctive form responds to the constraints of the site: the building appears more slender than a rectangular block of equivalent size and the slimming of its profile towards the base maximizes the public realm at street level. Environmentally, its profile reduces wind deflections compared with a rectilinear tower of similar size, helping to maintain a comfortable environment at ground level, and creates external pressure differentials that are exploited to drive a unique system of natural ventilation.

Conceptually the tower develops ideas explored in the Commerzbank and before that in the Climatroffice, a theoretical project with Buckminster Fuller that suggested a new rapport between nature and the workplace, its energy-conscious enclosure resolving walls and roof into a continuous triangulated skin. Here, the tower’s diagonally braced structure allows column-free floor space and a fully glazed facade, which opens up the building to light and views. Atria between the radiating fingers of each floor link vertically to form a series of informal break-out spaces that spiral up the building. These spaces are a natural social focus – places for refreshment points and meeting areas – and function as the building’s ‘lungs’, distributing fresh air drawn in through opening panels in the facade. This system reduces the building’s reliance on air conditioning and together with other sustainable measures, means that it uses only half the energy consumed by a conventionally air-conditioned office tower.

Beijing National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest

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