The Walkie-Talkie (20 Fenchurch Street)

Colloquially known in London as the “walkie-talkie” building because of its distinctive shape, the building at 20 Fenchurch Street (above, middle) is a commercial skyscraper in the city’s historic financial district. Designed by Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly at a cost of over £200 million ($273 million), the building is known for its distinctive top-heavy form which appears to burst upward and outward. Initially completed in the spring of 2014, the 38-storey building now also features a unique “sky garden” on the 35th, 36th and 37th floors, which also features a bar and several restaurants (below).

The tower was originally proposed to be nearly 656 feet tall, but the design was scaled down after concerns about its visual impact on the nearby St Paul’s Cathedral and Tower of London. However, even after the height reduction, there were continued concerns from heritage groups about its visual impact. As a result, the project became the subject of a public inquiry. In 2007, after a ruling in the developers’ favor, the building was finally granted full planning permission. 

In 2015, it was awarded the Carbuncle Cup, which is presented annually to the “worst new building” in the UK which was opened during the previous 12 months!

  • Viewed: 2017

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