Tag Archives: London

Documentary – Sir Norman Foster – “Building the Gherkin”

Swiss Re London HQ "The Gherkin"

Swiss Re London HQ "The Gherkin"

At the end of the Last Century, the european insurance conglomerate Swiss Re didn’t find a suitable space to group its operations in London’s financial district. It mandated world acclaimed architect Sir Norman Foster to solve the problem, which he did by proposing a building that would change the architectural paradigm, shifting from boxed like skyscrapers to a cigar shape which was popularly named the Gherkin. In the year 2000 the city of London granted the permit to construct it. It was occupied by Swiss Re’s employees in 2004. This is the famous documentary on its history “Building the Gherkin”.

If you liked this video watch the one on Zaha Hadid and the groundbreaking GuangZhou Opera House!

Watch here “Building the Gherkin”. Fast forward to minute 2 to skip the introduction.

Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd (German: Schweizerische Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft AG), generally known as Swiss Re, is a Swiss reinsurance company. It is the world’s second-largest reinsurer, after having acquired GE Insurance Solutions. The company has its headquarters in Zurich. Founded in 1863, Swiss Re operates through offices in more than 25 countries.

Its London office is located in the award-winning 30 St Mary Axe tower, which opened on 25 May 2004. 30 St Mary Axe is London’s first environmentally sustainable tall building. Among the building’s most distinctive features are its windows, which open to allow natural ventilation to supplement the mechanical systems for a good part of the year.

The landmark London skyscraper, designed by architect Norman Foster and popularly known as ‘the gherkin’, was confirmed sold on 5 February 2007 for over £600 million (US$1.18 billion) to a group formed of IVG Immobilien AG of Germany and Evans Randall of Mayfair.

Norman Robert Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank, OM Kt. (born 1 June 1935) is a British architect whose company maintains an international design practice, Foster + Partners.

Foster was raised in Manchester in a working-class family and was intrigued by design and engineering from a young age. His years observing Mancunian architecture subsequently influenced his works, and was inspired to pursue a career in architecture after a treasurer clerk noticed his sketches and interest in Manchester’s buildings while he worked atManchester Town Hall.

Foster gained an internship at a local architect’s office before submitting a portfolio and winning a place at the University of Manchester School of Architecture. He subsequently won a scholarship to study at the Yale School of Architecture in the United States of America.

Foster returned to the United Kingdom in 1963 and set up a practice, Team 4 which became Foster + Partners. His breakthrough building was arguably the Willis Building in Ipswich in 1975 and he has since designed landmark structures such asWembley Stadium and 30 St Mary Axe. He is one of Britain’s most prolific architects of his generation. In 2009 Foster was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award in the Arts category.

Source: Wikipedia

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The Life of Jackson Pollock Documentary!

Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock

Fantastic documentary on the life of american artist Jackson Pollock.

Paul Jackson Pollock (January 28, 1912 – August 11, 1956), known as Jackson Pollock, was an influential American painter and a major figure in the abstract expressionist movement. He was well known for his uniquely defined style of drip painting.

During his lifetime, Pollock enjoyed considerable fame and notoriety. He was regarded as a mostly reclusive artist. He had a volatile personality, and struggled with alcoholism for most of his life. In 1945, he married the artist Lee Krasner, who became an important influence on his career and on his legacy.

Pollock died at the age of 44 in an alcohol-related car accident. In December 1956, the year of his death, he was given a memorial retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, and a larger more comprehensive exhibition there in 1967. More recently, in 1998 and 1999, his work was honored with large-scale retrospective exhibitions at MoMA and at The Tate in London.

Source Wikipedia

If you liked this documentary watch the Jackson Pollock one!

Watch the documentary on the life of Jackson Pollock:

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