Building the Gherkin

Genre:  Documentary
Running Time:  52 min.
Release Date: February 14, 2008 (limited)

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Can a single building impact the career of an architect, the image of a global company and even the skyline of a big city? Just a month and a day after the disastrous attack on the World Trade Center in New York, the first steel beam of a new tower is erected in London.

One question is on everybody's mind: is it the right decision to build a new iconic tower in the midst of London's financial district, on a site that has already been bombed before? The 40-storey steel and glass tower sparks further controversy.

Norman Foster, one of Britain's most visionary architects, calls his design for the new Swiss Re London headquarters "radial - socially, technically, architecturally and spatially". In fact, its size and shape are so radical that it is almost immediately nicknamed "the erotic gherkin". Will the Gherkin become the landmark they all dream?

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