Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Discarding a pineapple, embracing a gherkin

  • Comment
letters

In your 'Who said what' column (AJ 21.10.04), Jonathan Jones is quoted from the Guardian of 18.10.04 as saying: 'Everyone talks about the 'gherkin' as if it were weird and unprecedented but it is not.

'Where other recent architecture has a lot in common with the extravagance of the Baroque, Foster has created a form that is manifestly in the Classical tradition. This is a shape that Wren would have recognised, admired and envied.' In fact, Wren used this shape in one of his discarded designs for an elongated pineapple to sit on the highest point of St Paul's Cathedral (pictured). It was directly above the central dome and I would guess that it would have been perhaps three or four metres in height.

The proportions of Wren's elongated pineapple are similar to the 'gherkin', the tapering shape is similar, and the modelling has a similar effect of creating parallel diagonal bands appearing to wrap themselves around the tapering form.

Richard Lyon, Richard Lyon and Associates, Cambridge

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.