70 St Mary Axe

70 St Mary Axe, informally known as The Can Of Ham due to its shape, is an office building in the City of London. It was completed in early 2019.[2] With 21 floors above ground, it is 90 metres (295 ft) tall and offers 28,000 square metres (301,400 sq ft) of office space.[3] During its construction, the City of London Corporation decided to pedestrianise the part of St Mary Axe along which the building sits, between Bevis Marks to the south-west and Houndsditch to the north-east.[10][11]

70 St Mary Axe
70 St Mary Axe seen from Bevis Marks.jpg
Seen from Bevis Marks
Alternative namesThe Can Of Ham[1]
General information
LocationSt Mary Axe,
London, EC3[2]
Coordinates51°30′55″N 00°04′46″W / 51.51528°N 0.07944°W / 51.51528; -0.07944Coordinates: 51°30′55″N 00°04′46″W / 51.51528°N 0.07944°W / 51.51528; -0.07944
Construction started2015[4]
Roof90 metres (295 ft)[3]
Technical details
Floor count21 (above ground, including ground floor) plus two basement levels[7]
Floor area28,063.8 square metres (302,100 sq ft) (office space)[8]
Design and construction
ArchitectFoggo Associates[2]
Structural engineerFoggo Associates[9]
Main contractorMace Group Ltd[4]


The profile is said to resemble a can of ham.

The architectural design was created by Foggo Associates for Targetfollow, and planning permission was granted in 2008.[2]. Targetfollow sold the site to Nuveen in 2011 for £20m[2] but development was delayed during the global financial crisis.[12][13]

The sole tenant of 60 St Mary Axe agreed in 2014 to exit their lease early, and in 2015 Mace Group Ltd was appointed to build the project.[2] Construction began that same year, and involved 400 workers, 90% of whom were employed through subcontractors.[14]

During development, the project was criticised by some for its shape and its size.[15][16]

Construction completed in Spring 2019, but the building did not open until later in the year.[17]

In popular cultureEdit


The building was used as the location for the interview stage in the 2019 series of The Apprentice.[18]


The address, 70 St Mary Axe, was the location of the title character's offices in Gilbert and Sullivan's 1877 operetta The Sorcerer.[19]


The address, 70 St Mary Axe, is a recurring location in the novels of Tom Holt,[20] basing the use of the address on its previous use in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Sorcerer.


  1. ^ "60 - 70 St. Mary Axe". Foggo Associates. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Louise Dransfield; Roland Bakos (30 April 2019). "A first look inside Nuveen's 70 St Mary Axe". EstatesGazette. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  3. ^ a b Tom Ravenscroft (23 October 2019). "Foggo Associates completes Can of Ham alongside the Gherkin". Dezeen. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "70 St Mary Axe, Project Summary". Mace Group. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  5. ^ "Project Completion: 70 St Mary Axe, London". Robinson Low Francis. 4 February 2019. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  6. ^ "70 St Mary Axe "The Can of Ham"". The Joint Contracts Tribunal Limited. 6 February 2019. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  7. ^ "Official website, floor plans" (PDF). 70 St Mary Axe. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  8. ^ "Official website, floor areas". 70 St Mary Axe. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  9. ^ Thomas Lane (23 February 2018). "70 St Mary Axe - ahead of the curve". Building. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  10. ^ Mark Blunden (17 January 2018). "Traffic banned from City street for construction of 'Can of Ham' tower". Evening Standard. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  11. ^ Monika Cvorak (24 January 2018). "Can of Ham tower closes St Mary Axe to cars". City Matters. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  12. ^ Ed Davey (19 November 2012). "London's future skyline in doubt". BBC News. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  13. ^ Amy Frearson (22 January 2015). "London's "Can of Ham" skyscraper back on after six-year hiatus". Dezeen. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  14. ^ Gill Plimmer (4 June 2018). "Why the cracks are showing in Britain's construction industry". Financial Times. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  15. ^ Spencer Hart (21 January 2015). "The Eight Controversial Buildings Ready To Ruin London". Gizmodo UK. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  16. ^ Oliver Wainwright (30 June 2015). "22 Bishopsgate – and the steroidal towers set to ruin London's skyline". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  17. ^ Hamish Champ (12 November 2019). "Can of Ham gets ready to welcome first tenants". Building. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  18. ^ Helen Williams (11 December 2019). "The Apprentice interviews held in 'Can of Ham' - one of London's stand-out buildings!". Reality Titbit. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  19. ^ "The Sorcerer by the Troupers". Opera Metro. 8 July 2016. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  20. ^ David Langford (2008). "Random Reading 9". Ansible. Retrieved 21 July 2020.