And it’s true – this building recedes as you draw ever closer.
Five minutes later, she lurks half-hidden down an alleyway off Bishopsgate, and by the time we reach St Mary Axe, the hem of her crystal skirt is all that remains.
Imagination in architecture – that is the Gherkin.
Four years I’ve waited to see inside this building, and finally I’m here. The lift opens to reveal a cat’s cradle of metal holding up concentric circles of sky.
Atop stairs of shiny black stone, a string quartet is playing. The towers of Docklands reach behind them, whilst far below to my right Tower Bridge stands in miniature under a gunmetal grey sky. Drinks and conversation await, but I can’t concentrate on much more than the view.
Tower 42 lights up first, amidst a starfield of reflections. The sky darkens and we stand suddenly smaller, floorbound beneath our indigo cage.
Outside, a light rain is falling. Our ten-year long summer is over, and a chill wind gusts through these streets.
With each new footstep, the Gherkin rises taller behind us, whilst unseen up above her high crystal window pierces the future’s dark sky.
Blackness bears down now in a deep cloud of foreboding. The financial heart of the world lies silent, awaiting its fate.