70 St Mary Axe, and Finsbury Circus

I have wanted to draw this building for a long time. It has the most wonderful shape.

70 St Mary Axe, from the park by St Botolphs, 110 Bishopsgate is the tall building in the background.

It seemed like today was a good day: empty streets and sun. I found a view, and stood sketching with the sun on my back.

Three things happened.

  • A group of skateboarders chose the particular wide pavement on which I was standing to practise their sport.
  • People started to accumulate in the park nearby, with beer cans and music.
  • The sun moved, and I was in shade.

The skateboarders were skilful, and avoided me, but were a worry and distraction. The groups of people were definitely contravening current regulations on social distancing and made me uneasy. And then I was getting cold.

So I packed up my sketch, and moved on. The result is a rather dashed sketch, but somehow captures the mood, and is not unpleasing. What do you think?

There are more curves in this view than I normally encounter in an urban sketch. As well as the marvellous building, you can see the wiggle of the road called Bevis Marks, at the bottom of the sketch. That sinuous line is usually totally lost in the buses and parked cars. But it was visible today.

70 St Marys Axe is by Foggo Architects. It was finished last year. The interior design is also a sight to behold. I peered in through the glass.

I walked back through the deserted city and came to Finsbury Circus. Here was the most wonderful tranquil air and a feeling of light. I realised this was because a huge and tall Crossrail construction, which has been at the centre of Finsbury Circus for months, has now gone. The sky has reappeared. I could look back and see the buildings of the city though a fine mesh of branches and spring leaves. It was beautiful. I sat on the steps of 1 Finsbury Circus and drew it.

Phthalo turquoise (W&N), Burnt Umber (DS) and Perylene Maroon (DS), with some Mars Yellow (DS)

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