30 St Mary Axe is one of the most striking examples of contemporary architecture, in the City of London, and is one of my favourite buildings in the area. With its triangular and diamond shaped glass panels it offers some truly unique photographic opportunities, regardless of whether it is sunny or overcast.
Following the detonation of a bomb, on April 10 1992, by the Provisional IRA, which destroyed much of the Baltic Exchange and the Chamber of Shipping, plans were put in place to restore these much-loved and historic buildings. However, such was the extent of the damage that reconstruction was deemed unfeasible, so new plans were drawn up.
In 1995, the land was bought by Trafalgar House who set about dismantling the remaining parts of the Baltic Exchange and Exchange Hall, in the hopes that they could be rebuilt at a later date.
Plans for a 386-metre tall skyscraper, called the MillenniuM Tower, that had offices, shops, apartments, restaurants and gardens were put forward, in 1996, but were soon dropped over objections that it wasn't in keeping with the area and that its height could interfere with flights from nearby City Airport.
Plans for a shorter tower were submitted and were given the go ahead, in 2000, with the building being completed in December 2003, with its official opening in April the following year.