The Onion (and the Gherkin)

Friday, 9th May 2008 by

Last Sunday saw the swearing in of Boris Johnson, conservative MP for Henley (and renowned committer of gaffes), as the new Mayor of London. This means that, not only will he have power over nearly everything in Greater London, he will also take up office in London’s rather spectacular City Hall.

Opened in 2002, the glass clad building contains a 500 metre helical walkway, which eventually reaches ‘London’s Living Room’, a large space 10 floors up which affords rather spectacular views over the River Thames, and which also played host to Boris’ acceptance speech at the weekend (and unsurprising trip-up beforehand!).

Perhaps the new Mayor will be more accepting of the Norman Foster design than Ken Livingstone, who famously likened the building to a ‘glass testicle’. Boris however is said to refer to it as ‘The Onion’ – which fits, since the nearby ‘Gherkin’ is another work by Foster and Partners.1

Here’s a link to the Live Maps Bird’s Eye view of London City Hall which really demonstrates the tower’s bizarre shape, or you can see lots of pictures and read more about it at GreatBuildings and wikipedia. Thanks to Krusader.

  1. Norman Foster gets about a bit – yet another one of his company’s creations was featured here earlier in the week.