“The biggest gherkin in Christendom could soon be overshadowing London”
So utters Jeremy Paxman to open the trailer for improbable movie ‘Building the Gherkin’. That’s right. Everyone’s favourite pickle-shaped landmark has made its first flick, co-starring Norman Foster and Ken Livingstone.
Just a month and a day after the disastrous attack on the World Trade Center in New York, the first steel beam of a new tower is erected in London. One question is on everybody’s mind: is it the right decision to build a new iconic tower in the midst of London’s financial district, on a site that has already been bombed before? It was a time of heroes, when desperate men battled against unimaginable odds to secure a lateral bracing beam before the end of their shift.
OK, we misquoted them slightly at the end there. Sorry.
The 90-minute documentary chronicles the logistical soap opera of constructing a ground-breaking tower in the heart of a busy, working city. The film received its premiere during Architecture Week, but is now available to buy on DVD (bizarrely, the film’s website asks you to select your country from a limited list of Switzerland, USA/Canada, Germany or ROW. What, do they think no one in London would be interested?)
Of course, Londonist readers were the first to give the gherkin a starring film role.