The iconic Swiss Re office building of Norman Foster, Foster and Partners, in London city has the incidental iconography of a gherkin. If you type the word ‘gherkin’ on Google Images you have a hard time finding a picture of a real gherkin between all the images of the Swiss Re building. The metaphor takes over the original.
The building features on the cover of the new Charles Jencks book the Iconic Building as a rocket. It definitely looks like a spaceship, especially since it taperes towards the ground. Inside the Iconic Building Madelon Vriesendorp analyses the metaphors that the building could provoke. She draws nine possible metaphors: a rocket, screw, bullet, penis, brains, finger, pineapple, Russian puppet, and cigar.
I have written a review of the book for Urban Design Review Summer 2006 of David Haskell’s Forum for Urban Design in New York. The review will be published in June. Iconic buildings have miniture models.
Just as I thought these scale models could actually have a real functionality, I found this scale-model that is a lamp: Gherkin, by Norman Foster.