Foster and Partners have designed one of the few buildings in London which has the power to stop passers-by in their tracks. The building, known as 30 St Mary Axe, is under construction for owner and principal occupier Swiss Re in the heart of the City.

7000 square metres of Lignacite medium dense concrete masonry units were used in the construction of the building’s basement area. Lignacite blocks were chosen for their high precision, quality and unique acoustic characteristics, creating a solid base for the steel and glass structure that stands 180 metres above the pavement.

Skanska Construction are responsible for building this icon, which is on schedule to be finished in 2003.