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Photographer's Note

30 St Mary Axe and The Gherkin

Each floor rotates 5 degrees from the last but the spiralling atriums were not fully realised. They stop every six floors for fire safety reasons.

* The advantages of the shape are numerous - at the bottom it tapers in creating more ground space and allowing a new public plaza to build whilst circular towers also create less downdrafts. Tapering at the top into the crown reduces wind resistance further.

* The lifts can carry a maximum of 378 people at any one time reaching speeds of 6 metres a second.

* The building contains the highest dining space in London at 163 metres. The entire top floors are occupied by the company restaurant for Swiss Re.

* The building weighs 70,000 tonnes, contains 333 piles in the foundations, 35 kilometres of structural steel at 11,000 tonnes, and 24,000 square metres of glass cladding.

* The building is the winner of the 2005 RIBA Stirling Prize for Architecture and has become an instant hit with the public appearing prominently in Olympic 2012 promotions.

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Additional Photos by Figen Kokol (fkokol) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 341 W: 0 N: 270] (1636)
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