All year round
Visitors to Houndsditch, south of Liverpool Street and west of Brick Lane, can't miss London's towering landmark, colloquially known as the "Gherkin", although its official name is also its address: 30 St Mary Axe.
The vegetable-shaped building is a private office block, but you can get a good look at it from the public plaza in which it stands. Designed by Foster and Partners, its curving sides are made up of triangles of glass, pieced together at slightly different angles to achieve the overall lattice effect that tapers into a gently rounded top.
The Gherkin boasts a number of ecological features, which maximise the use of daylight and reduce the need for air-conditioning. At 180 metres it is three times the height of Niagara Falls and each of the stairwells has 1037 steps, but thankfully 378 people at a time can use the lifts.
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