At the Heart of the Cluster: 70 St Mary Axe

70 St Mary Axe is an elegant, highly efficient 24-storey office tower in the heart of the city cluster. It sits amid many iconic London buildings and as our renderings, aerial footage and CGI fly-through show it can cut the mustard with the best of them.

River Film: 70 St Mary Axe – Aerial Film and CGI Fly-Through

Our dramatic opening shot offers the audience a sense of the buildings scale and 21st century design. But, just as importantly, it shows the geographic location and proximity to other commercial buildings, particularly the Gherkin – this is one of the most sought after and expensive business locations in the world.

The smooth POV fly-through that follows contains an astonishing amount of detail. The scale and perspective of the office furniture and equipment seamlessly change as the shot moves through the space, as does the light and views from outside of the floor-to-ceiling windows.

Exterior Superhero Shot

Our clients, TH Real Estate, were very keen to show the full shape of the building and this is something we managed to accomplish in both the aerial footage and the architectural renderings we produced for them.


River Film Rendering: 70 St Mary Axe – Exterior Superhero Shot

Working in the airspace over London has its challenges, due to fly restrictions it wasn’t possible to take any backplate photography, so the artist working on this image had to matte paint the background – hats off to Vanessa Forner who did an incredible job!

Producing such detailed renderings may be painstaking work, but the results are really rewarding – all the more so when it’s for a project of such magnitude.

After Dark

Showing what the building looks like after dark offers an additional perspective – looking from the outside in. It’s also important as it shows the amount of thought that has gone into factors such as the uplighting on the exterior sides and the potential for light sculptures on the walkways that surround the building.


River Film Rendering: 70 St Mary Axe – Exterior with Light Sculptures

What Lies Within

Using the architectural drawings as a reference, we created images for the spacious reception area, bathed in natural light to soften the ambiance. The rugs used act as islands for the loungers and tables, which were sourced from the likes of Jørgensen. Whilst the chandelier is a Foundry creation using Bocci lights.


River Film Rendering: 70 St Mary Axe – Lobby

To design the floors, we worked using references and a colour palette provided by the client. TH Real Estate and Foggo Associates, the buildings design team, had a very clear vision of the style they wanted so that helped us a lot.

The result is interiors that don’t look overly corporate, more city slicker chic meets high-end cosmopolitan hotel. These environments aren’t oppressive or starched – male, pale and stale, they reflect contemporary values relating to workplace design. The characters too look relaxed and happy, they’re in keeping with the current ethos of looking after your employees.

Workplace Design

Alongside factors such as flexible working, current debate on workplace design puts increased emphasis on the value of wellbeing and office spaces are being built with factors such as work styles in mind.


River Film Rendering: 70 St Mary Axe – Office Space

The images you see here were developed over a long period of time, we have been involved in the project since 2015 and we’re now delighted with the balance, feel and the scope for working style flexibility that the interior renderings offer.

Office spaces that feature areas for quiet, meaningful reflection, study areas that can also be used for informal meetings, as well as more formal meeting spaces and state-of-the-art workstations.

As a body of work, this represents one of the most sophisticated and successful packages we have produced for a property development. Reflecting the estimated £135 million it’s costing to build 70 St Mary Axe, a skyscraper that will further enhance the London skyline.

“Despite engaging on projects all over the world; Bogota, San Diego, Manhattan, Dubai, Dublin and Beijing included, it’s always great to work on home ground and for us that’s London, where our biggest (and most enjoyable) project of late has been 70 St Mary Axe.” David Groundwater, Managing Director at River Film.