Can a single building impact the career of an architect, the image of a global company and even the skyline of a big city? 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? The 40-storey steel and glass tower sparks further controversy.
Norman Foster, one of Britain's most visionary architects, calls his design for the new Swiss Re London headquarters "radial - socially, technically, architecturally and spatially". In fact, its size and shape are so radical that it is almost immediately nicknamed "the erotic gherkin". Will the Gherkin become the landmark they all dream?