Swiss Re / St Mary Axe / The Gerkin

The Brief

The client, in tandem with the vendors of the site, wished to create the most unique, bespoke building in the City of London. GIA worked closely with Foster + Partners to minimise the impact to the neighbours as the client did not want to create a large number of issues with adjoining properties.

The Solution

We carried out detailed analysis of the site and surrounding properties with the resulting solution to create a circular building that would allow light to be received around its sides. As a result, only one property became injunctable in the whole process which was a challenge in an area of London so densely populated. The owners of that property were approached early on and a very straightforward agreement was reached with a modest sum of compensation paid.

Special Features

Whilst we would not say that GIA was responsible for the design of the property, our strategic advice and envelope analysis assisted Foster + Partners in developing a workable design which minimised the impact on neighbours and still met the client brief in full. The Swiss Re building (or Gherkin) has now become an icon which represents London in many forums, both within the property industry and more broadly throughout the world.

Project details


Swiss Re, London


Rights Of Light


Swiss Re


Foster + Partners