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GROWING GHERKIN

London's landmark £130M Swiss Re tower, known locally as the 'gherkin', has passed the 30 floor mark. Core construction is up to the 38th floor, with the perimeter diagrid steel structure only four floors behind. Cladding is following on at the rate of a floor a week, and is presently at floor 17. With 40 storeys to be completed and fitted out by 2004, main contractor Skanska has deployed nearly 400 men on the constricted City of London site, once home to the Baltic Exchange.

Architect is Foster and Partners; structural design is by Arup.

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