Photographing The Gherkin

Iconic is a word often used these days, but that is what the gherkin truly is to London’s skyline.

This is one of those rare buildings that have an understated quality of design. Like a fractal, the overriding design is repeated the closer you look.


As seen from the cheese grater.

30 St Mary Axe - The Gherkin

Views from the members only private club room.

30 St Mary Axe - The Gherkin

The design is repeated throughout.




At its base the gherkin provides retail outlets serving the residents and local office workers. The thought of design afforded this building makes it a ‘Photographers Dream’. In this image the glass is used to mirror pedestrians.

With a trained eye, new angles, abstract compositions and emotions reveal themselves as you explore and experience the spaces without and within. The internal spaces of the upper floors, determined by the external design, relieve the feeling of vertigo experienced in buildings of lesser height. All of which I find lead to a feeling of wellbeing, to occupants and visitors alike, without losing any of the spectacle and grandeur of the 360 degree views over the City of London and further afield.

30 St Mary Axe - The Gherkin

Expansive views at the top.


Walkway shirts and circles the base.



Although the cheese-grater has a distinctive shape, that shape is not always evident viewed from any angle. As show here it can appear as block-like along with St Helens Tower (centre of image). 30 St Mary Axe is unmistakeable viewed from all angles regardless of lighting conditions.


As if it were needed… but I can’t resist the chance to showcase one of my favourite images of 30 St Mary Axe – The Gherkin.

I consider the ability of a building’s / structure’s / shape / design to identify a city’s skyline is in its silhouette. For example, although not ubiquitous; with the opening of Las Vegas’s ‘High Roller’ (2014) the outline of the London Eye is no longer unique to London, and the block-like structure of many buildings are easily mistaken, if view out of context to their immediate neighbors. 30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin) is an unmistakable landmark seen from any angle or distance, un-brash, yet more impressive the closer you get.


Like a year-long decoration to the City’s skyline. Thanks to Foster and Partners

See more pics here

Further reading see DesignCurial’s article on this topic here

With thanks to 30 St Mary Axe for photographic access.