The Gherkin: How London's Famous Tower Leveraged Risk and Became an Icon

01:00 - 5 November, 2013

How does design change the nature and distribution of risk? In this, the first of four installments examining the Gherkin, the London office tower and urban icon designed by Foster + Partners, author Jonathan Massey introduces the concept of “risk design.” The series, originally published on Aggregate's website, explains how the Gherkin leveraged perceptions of risk to generate profits, promote economic growth, and raise the currency of design expertise.

Designing Risk

Back the Bid. Leap for London. Make Britain Proud. Emblazoned across photomontages of oversized athletes jumping over, diving off, and shooting for architectural landmarks old and new, these slogans appeared in 2004 on posters encouraging Londoners to support the city’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games. Featured twice in the series of six posters—along with Buckingham Palace, Nelson’s Column, the Tower Bridge, the London Eye, and the Thames Barrier—was 30 St Mary Axe, the office tower known colloquially as the Gherkin for its resemblance to a pickle, or as the Swiss Re building, after the Zurich-based reinsurance company that commissioned the building and remains its major tenant.

Barranquitas Sur Municipal Kindergarden / Subsecretaría de Obras de Arquitectura

01:00 - 5 November, 2013
Barranquitas Sur Municipal Kindergarden / Subsecretaría de Obras de Arquitectura, © Federico Cairoli
© Federico Cairoli
  • Architects

  • Location

    Santa Fé, Argentina
  • Urban Planning Secretary

    Eduardo Navarro
  • Architecture Projects Subsecretary

    Marcelo Darío Pascualón
  • Project Coordinators

    Martín González, Luciana Viñuela, Lucas Condal, Alfredo Jurado
  • Team

    Andrés Francesconi; Germán Müller; Carlos Di Nápoli; Francisco Garrido; Felicita Cersofio; SamiraRosso; Julieta Zampedri; Clarisa Cattáneo; Ignacio Barrios; Agustín Balma
  • Project Area

    1034.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2012
  • Photography

© Federico Cairoli © Federico Cairoli © Federico Cairoli © Federico Cairoli +37

Orillia Public Library / Perkins+Will

01:00 - 5 November, 2013
Orillia Public Library / Perkins+Will, © Ben Rahn / A-Frame
© Ben Rahn / A-Frame
  • Architects

  • Location

    Orillia, Ontario, Canada
  • Managing Principal

    D’Arcy Arthurs
  • Design Principal

    Andrew Frontini
  • Architectural Team

    Werner Sommer, Kira Varvanina, Vis Sankrithi, Joginder Dhanjal, Rick Galezowski
  • Structural Engineering

    Halcrow Yolles
  • Mechanical Engineering

    Smith + Andersen
  • Electrical Engineering

    Mulvey & Banani International
  • Landscape Architect

    MBTW Group
  • Sustainable Design Engineer

    Enermodal Engineering
  • Commissioning Consultant

    CMFS Group
  • Area

    42000.0 ft2
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

© Ben Rahn / A-Frame © Ben Rahn / A-Frame © Ben Rahn / A-Frame © Ben Rahn / A-Frame +28

Heatherwick Releases Updated Images for London's 'Garden Bridge'

01:00 - 5 November, 2013
Heatherwick Releases Updated Images for London's 'Garden Bridge', Courtesy of Arup
Courtesy of Arup

After winning a Transport for London (TfL) tender for ideas to improve pedestrian access across the River Thames, Thomas Heatherwick and Arup unveiled plans for a new, 367-meter long ‘Garden Bridge’ that will span the river from Temple to the Southbank. The lush pedestrian corridor, earmarked for opening in 2017, would be the first new crossing since the Millennium Bridge opened to the public in 2002.

More details and updated images after the break...

Prince Housing Sales Center / Lab Modus

01:00 - 5 November, 2013
Courtesy of Lab Modus
Courtesy of Lab Modus
  • Architects

  • Location

    Taoyuan County, Taiwan
  • Architect in Charge

    Kevin Chang, Yuan-chen Wu, Min-ching Wu, Jay Lin
  • Area

    1800.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of Lab Modus

Courtesy of Lab Modus Courtesy of Lab Modus Courtesy of Lab Modus Courtesy of Lab Modus +16

House BCU / [tp3] architekten

01:00 - 5 November, 2013
© Mark Sengstbratl
© Mark Sengstbratl

© Mark Sengstbratl © Mark Sengstbratl © Mark Sengstbratl © Mark Sengstbratl +9

Surfrider Foundation / Gardera-D Architecture

01:00 - 5 November, 2013
© Mathieu Choiselat
© Mathieu Choiselat
  • Architects

  • Location

    Allée du Moura, 64200 Biarritz, France
  • Collaborators

    Stéphane Bauche
  • Acoustic development

    Point d’orgue, Damien Dupouy
  • Area

    1000.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2012
  • Photographs

© Mathieu Choiselat © Mathieu Choiselat © Mathieu Choiselat © Mathieu Choiselat +17

James Cook University / Wilson Architects + Architects North

01:00 - 5 November, 2013
© Christopher Frederick-Jones
© Christopher Frederick-Jones
  • Architects

  • Location

    Townsville QLD, Australia
  • Wilson Architects Team

    Hamilton Wilson, Shaun Purcell, Sarah Russell, Boon Tan, Janelle Gildea, Alisha Renton, Sasha Hakimian, John Thong
  • Architects North Team

    David Stefanovic, Selma Okanovic, Amanda Kempthorne
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

© Christopher Frederick-Jones © Christopher Frederick-Jones © Christopher Frederick-Jones © Christopher Frederick-Jones +36

M Residence / Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

01:00 - 5 November, 2013
M Residence / Shinichi Ogawa & Associates, Courtesy of Shinichi Ogawa & Associates
Courtesy of Shinichi Ogawa & Associates
  • Architects

  • Location

    Fukui, Fukui Prefecture, Japan
  • Area

    182.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

Courtesy of Shinichi Ogawa & Associates Courtesy of Shinichi Ogawa & Associates Courtesy of Shinichi Ogawa & Associates Courtesy of Shinichi Ogawa & Associates +15

Shortlist Announced for Canadian Holocaust Monument

01:00 - 5 November, 2013
Shortlist Announced for Canadian Holocaust Monument , Ottawa site of future National Holocaust Monument. Image Courtesy of Canadian Architect
Ottawa site of future National Holocaust Monument. Image Courtesy of Canadian Architect

Daniel Libeskind and David Adjaye, along with four other shortlisted teams, are competing to design the National Holocaust Monument in Canada. Planned to be built in a prominent site in the heart of Ottawa, near the Canadian War Museum, the $4.5 million monument is expected for completion in 2015. 

The jury, made up of internationally renowned art and design professionals, a representative from the National Holocaust Monument Development Council and a Holocaust survivor, chose the following six teams as finalists:

Video: Mecanoo's TU Delft Library

00:00 - 5 November, 2013

The TU Delft Library, in The Netherlands, helped to place Mecanoo in the international scene. The library was designed 15 years ago, and to celebrate, Mecanoo released this great video revisiting the now iconic building. Enjoy!

Exac-Wu Executive Academy / NO.MAD

01:00 - 5 November, 2013
Exac-Wu Executive Academy  / NO.MAD, © Roland Halbe
© Roland Halbe
  • Architects

  • Location

    Vienna, Austria
  • Architect in Charge

    Eduardo Arroyo
  • Area

    20200.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2012
  • Photographs

© Roland Halbe © Roland Halbe © Roland Halbe © Roland Halbe +16

New Hospital Tower Rush University Medical Center / Perkins+Will

01:00 - 4 November, 2013
New Hospital Tower Rush University Medical Center / Perkins+Will, © James Steinkamp, Steinkamp Photography
© James Steinkamp, Steinkamp Photography

© James Steinkamp, Steinkamp Photography © James Steinkamp, Steinkamp Photography © James Steinkamp, Steinkamp Photography © James Steinkamp, Steinkamp Photography +48

Puzzle-Piece Homes, A Solution for Rapidly Growing Populations

00:00 - 4 November, 2013
Puzzle-Piece Homes, A Solution for Rapidly Growing Populations, Courtesy of ECOnnect
Courtesy of ECOnnect

By now, we have all heard the mantra. In twenty years time, the world's cities will have grown from three to five billion people, forty percent of these urban dwellers will be living at or below the poverty line facing the constant threat of homelessness - scary statistics and even scarier implications. 

ECOnnect, a Holland-based design firm, envisions a solution for these future housing shortages, one that could build a one-million-inhabitant city per week for the next twenty years for $10,000 per family. Peter Stoutjesdijk, architect at ECOnnect, created the concept after widespread devastation in Haiti caused by a massive earthquake left of hundreds of thousands of people homeless depending on tents for temporary relief.

Les Trois Mondes School Group / Joly&Loiret

01:00 - 4 November, 2013
© Luc Boegly
© Luc Boegly
  • Architects

  • Location

    Rue Xavier Arsène-Henry, 33300 Bordeaux, France
  • Architect in Charge

    erge Joly, Paul-Emmanuel Loiret
  • Area

    5020.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

© Luc Boegly © Luc Boegly © Luc Boegly © Luc Boegly +40

MSF House / ARCHI7

01:00 - 4 November, 2013
MSF House / ARCHI7, © Thomas Jantscher
© Thomas Jantscher
  • Architects

  • Location

    Fontenais, Switzerland
  • Architect in Charge

    Nuno Ferreira
  • Project Year

    2012
  • Photographs

© Thomas Jantscher © Thomas Jantscher © Thomas Jantscher © Thomas Jantscher +19

The Cairns Institute – James Cook University / Woods Bagot + RPA Architects

01:00 - 4 November, 2013

Plane House / K-Studio

01:00 - 4 November, 2013
Plane House / K-Studio

© Yiorgos Kordakis © Yiorgos Kordakis © Yiorgos Kordakis Plane House / K-Studio +26