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Tower power


What a fantastic piece of architecture Swiss Re is!

Astragal had the pleasure of visiting the building, courtesy of Skanska, the D&B contractor on the project. Just to prove that procurement methods can accommodate all manner of architecture, Foster and Partners is working with Skanska on the spec office scheme Moor House, visible from the gherkin. If anyone has proved that quality architecture can be applied to commercial projects, whether bespoke or speculative, it is surely Foster. That is why the practice arouses admiration and jealousy in equal measures. Crazed stories about the gherkin leaning are rubbish. Slight settlement of structure as the weight increased was fully designed for, and incredible levels of accuracy have been achieved. It remains to be seen how the fit-out will match the architecture - it is by the interiors arm of TP Bennett. Swiss Re moves in this December. If current marketing is successful, a US law firm could well be another tenant, no doubt covering everything in panelling.

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