No. 30 St Mary Axe, popularly known as "the gherkin", is that all too rare phenomenon: a work of modern British architecture that has been applauded by amateurs and professionals alike. The recipient of this year's Riba Stirling Prize, it was the unanimous choice of the judges - the first time in the award's nine-year history there has been no disagreement. Almost uniquely for a new building in London, Norman Foster's "gherkin" has elegance, colour and character; it became a well loved landmark even before it was complete. That all this makes it unusual, however, is a damning indictment of so much of the capital's new building. Give us more "gherkins", and we will soon embrace, rather than recoil from, the new.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies