The Gherkin

The Gherkin (30 St Mary Axe) is an office building in the City of London. It's not open to the public, except during the Open House London event and for restaurant bookings. Read More


Get up close to one of the City of London's most recognisable pieces of architecture.

What is The Gherkin?

The Gherkin, otherwise known as 30 St Mary Axe, is one of London’s most iconic skyscrapers. It has been open since 2004.

Why is it called The Gherkin?

The distinctive landmark got its nickname due to its round, vegetable-like design. The bullet-shaped building has occasionally been incorrectly referred to as “The Cucumber London”, the "London Egg" building and even “The London Pickle”!

Who designed The Gherkin?

The glass-fronted tower was designed by legendary British architect Sir Norman Foster. It took a total of two years to construct, and The Gherkin’s architecture features a distinctive spiral design.

An aerial shot of The Gherkin and the City of London lit up at night. © and Partners

How tall is The Gherkin?

The Gherkin is 180 metres (591 foot) tall. Towering 41 floors above the City of London, The Gherkin looks magnificent at any time of the day, but it’s particularly dazzling when lit up during night-time.

Where is 30 St Mary Axe?

The Gherkin is found in the City of London’s financial district, close to Leadenhall Market, The Monument and the Bank of England Museum.

There are 12 London bus routes serving the area around 30 St Mary Axe. It can also be reached by Tube via Liverpool Street station or Aldgate and Bank Underground stations.

Can I visit The Gherkin?

Apart from its restaurant and bar, The Gherkin isn’t normally open to the public. However, you can step inside the iconic building during special events such as Open House London. This event is extremely popular, so make sure to enter the ballot for entrance to 30 St Mary Axe.

Learn all about the tower during a walking tour, including the The City of London Tour or the skyscrapers and sculpture route of the City of London Visitor Trail.

What’s inside The Gherkin building?

The Gherkin is a private office building, which is home to several large businesses.

What’s at the top of The Gherkin?

The top floors of The Gherkin tower include Helix and Iris, a panoramic restaurant and bar both open to the public. There, you can enjoy sophisticated cocktails and contemporary British cuisine, while taking in the uninterrupted views of London.

Facts about London’s Gherkin building

  • Despite its shape, the lens at the very top of the tower is the only piece of curved glass used in The Gherkin.
  • There are 18 passenger lifts which travel at speeds of up to six metres (20 foot) per second.
  • There are 1,037 steps in each of The Gherkin building’s stairwells.
  • 30 St Mary Axe is covered in 24,000 sq metres (2,200 sq foot) of glass, which equates to five football pitches.
  • The Gherkin building is constructed from more than 35 kilometres (21 miles) of steel, weighing a total of 10,000 tonnes.

What’s the London egg building?

The Gherkin shouldn’t be confused with City Hall, an egg-shaped building in London, which houses the Mayor of London’s office.

Venue Details & Map

The Gherkin

30 St Mary Axe
The City of London
+44 (0)20 7071 5008

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