City's Gherkin sold for a record £630m

London's most iconic skyscraper - known as the Gherkin - has been sold for a record £630million.

Two financial giants yesterday agreed to pay almost €960m for the building - the most money ever exchanged for a single office block in the UK.

Its previous owner Swiss Re, an insurance firm, said it was confident investment bank Evans Randall and fund manager IVG Immobilien would maintain its "superior quality."

The 40-storey tower, located at 30 St Mary Axe, was designed by Lord Foster and his design company in 2003.

It has since won a number of prestigious awards including the Institute of British Architects' (RIBA) Stirling Prize, which described it as "elegant and impressive".

In its 2004 citation, the RIBA commended the Gherkin for "humanising the workplace, conserving energy, democratising the way people communicate within a building, and the way that building relates to the urban realm."

Overturning the property yesterday, Jacques Aigrain, the chief executive of Swiss Re, alluded to the building's ability to maximise daylight and natural ventilation.

He said: "Swiss Re is very proud to have built what has become a popular landmark in the City of London. It is an innovative working space, with sound environmental considerations at the heart of its design."

The design promises its new owners lower bills, as it uses only half the energy typically required by an office block of equal size.

The world renowned skyscraper, which is approximately 590 feet tall, was described by German-based Immobilien as "a true landmark."

The firm added: "The property is an attractive investment for our funds investors, not only visually but also from an investment perspective."

Hailed by its design team as the City's "first ecological tall building," the Gherkin provides 76,400 square metres of accommodation and cost £138m to build.



 

6th February 2007

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