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 of?