The Third Assessment: The keys for approaching 30 St Mary Axe Tower

30 St Mary Axe Tower

Located in the heart of the City of London, its distinctive form is an instantly recognisable addition to the skyline and has already become a landmark in Europe’s leading financial centre. The tower embodies a highly progressive environmental strategy, with its aerodynamic shape maximising the amount of natural lighting and ventilation to significantly reduce the building’s energy consumption.


The tower is composed of a series of spirally rising frames, which not only have the facade aesthetic function but also have the structural function of lateral support. At the same time, the shape of the frame constitutes the spiral volume of the building, which is also the biggest feature of the building. So i think ‘Wireframe’ is the most important key to describe the tower.


After confirming that the structural frame are the most important elements of the building facade. The first step is to construct the facade structural frame. After observing of the tower, the frame can be broken down into several similar spirally rising extruded aluminum frames. They separate from the bottom and merge at the top to form a unique building.


Mathematics is important for us to understand the tower. For example, the spiral shape of the building can get the best light and ventilation effect. And how to split the spiral surface to obtain the best structural system. The exterior form of 30 St Mary Axe explores a series of progressive curves with the aid of parametric computer-modelling techniques. The shape and geometry have affinities with forms that recur in nature. 


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