Get us in your inbox

The Gherkin, London
Photograph: Shutterstock

The Gherkin is getting its first-ever makeover

The legendary skyscraper is set to go through a ginormous glow-up in the coming years

Sabah Osman
Written by
Sabah Osman

You know that one distinctly phallic, glass-covered skyscraper that punctuates the City of London skyline? The one that looks like a giant ribbed pickle that fell from the heavens? Yep, that bizarrely beloved building nicknamed ‘the Gherkin’ is finally getting its first makeover since it came onto the scene in 2004.

The controversial giant tower designed by Norman Foster at 30 St Mary Axe will be renovated from top to bottom in the coming years. And while the exterior upgrades sadly won’t transform London’s favourite horticultural hard-on tower into something even more delightfully off-piste – like, say, an enormous glittering corn on the cob – there are still some juicy makeover details to go over.

On the inside, the Gherkin’s outdated 2000s office interiors are set to get a major modern refurb to turn the space into swanky new ‘smart building’ digs. That means sustainability upgrades like LED lighting, new ventilation systems, and plenty of luxurious tech integrations to appease the city’s most demanding bankers and legal eagles.

On the outside, the tower’s signature glass panes will receive a thorough polishing to boost energy efficiency. The dome is sprucing up its unmistakable, erm, bulbous shape by getting reglazed with some spiffed-up panelling. Further down, the pyramid-shaped base structure will get new curtains walling for a sleeker finish. You’ve got to admire the audacity of that phallic architectural flex.

The multi-million-pound project wraps in 2025, securing the Gherkin’s status as an unmissable update to the City skyline for a new gen of giggly gawkers. In other words, this big pickle’s brining process ain’t over yet.

Did you see that Britain’s most expensive flat in central London is now on the market?

Plus: two London museums are officially the best in the UK.

Stay in the loop: sign up to our free Time Out London newsletter for the best of the city, straight to your inbox.

Popular on Time Out

    More on city identity

      You may also like
      You may also like