The Gherkin Is Getting A Crosstown Rival Known As ‘The Cucumber’

Alex Landon Alex Landon - Editor

The Cucumber

It’s a good old-fashioned vegetable royal rumble!

London’s obsession with giving buildings ridiculous nicknames is a time-honoured tradition, but it’s about to set up a squabble that’ll be fought in the vegetable patch. The Gherkin – quite possibly the OG progenitor of obvious skyscraper nicknames – has stood proudly in the City of London since 2004, undisputed king of veg. But now, a pretender is set to emerge over in Paddington, a 42-storey challenger newly christened ‘The Cucumber‘.

See also: The giant glass skyscraper coming to London soon.

The Cucumber

Seriously, no one burned any brain cells coming up with that one, did they? Having been clearly green with envy at The Gherkin’s fame and sky-high cocktail bar, Westminster Council gave The Cucumber the green light yesterday. That’s only a mere eight years after it was originally sanctioned, with the intervening years having seen the scrapping of a planned hotel and the adding of more flats.

See also: London is reportedly getting 500 more skyscrapers.

The Cucumber

When completed, The Cucumber will stand at 492ft tall, and include 271 flats and a Skybar on the top two levels – a rather convenient local for those lucky enough to afford a home here. Officially known as 1 Merchant Square, it will overlook the Paddington basin and its charming floating park, but there’s one last potential hurdle to clear.

See also: Here’s what the City of London skyline will look like in 2026.

The Cucumber

As ianVisits notes, the project fails to meet the percentage of affordable housing set by both Westminster Council (30%) and the Mayor of London (35%); currently at 16%, there’s a chance they may be forced back to the drawing board.

The Cucumber

Still, with planning permission granted, it seems Westminster Council have set their objections to one side. There’s no word on when it’ll be joining the London skyline, but when it does, expect to see The Cucumber and The Gherkin staring at each other across town, like some sort of modern version of The Two Towers. One veg to rule them all…

All photos taken from the planning application.

Also published on Medium.

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