30 St Mary Axe, London


Swiss Reinsurance Company
Foster and Partners
2002 – 2004
Surface area 
1 000m2
Great Britain

Trimmed and freely growing hedges and creepers determine our idea of what a typical English garden should be like. Just as a highly technical building integrates traditional ways to control the interior climate, the interior plantings also combine the traditional with the new. Fenced-in plant containers reflect the idea of a landscaped English park in which a part of the garden is excluded from the design and returned to rampant nature. These plant containers are, however, not placed firmly on the ground but move when they are touched by employees or visitors to Swiss Re due to the concavity of the dished bottom, thus referring to the fragility of a natural space in the midst of a high-tech environment. The plantings, too, are based on the traditional givens of an English garden. Hedge plants grow through the grids of the enclosure and creepers wind around the picket fence.