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30 St Mary Axe is a skyscraper in London's main financial district, the City of London. It is widely known by the nickname "The Gherkin", and occasionally as a variant on The Swiss Re Tower, after its previous owner and principal occupier. It is 180 metres (591 ft) tall, making it the second-tallest building in the City of London, after Tower 42, and the sixth-tallest in London as a whole. The building's name is its address — St Mary Axe being the street it is on.


The building was designed by Pritzker Prize-winner Lord Foster and ex-partner Ken Shuttleworth and Arup engineers, and was constructed by Skanska of Sweden between 2001 and 2004. However, despite Foster taking complete credit for the design, industry insiders[citation needed] advise that Shuttleworth, who later founded his own design studio, MAKE, was the primary source of the radical and innovative design of the structure.


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Taken on July 30, 2008