What is all this with the walkie talkie tower

28/12/13 12:50 PM

I’m glad you asked. 20 Fenchurch Street, kindly known as the ‘Walkie Talkie Tower’ and maybe less kindly known as the ‘Walkie Scorchie’ (yeah, that’s a name that’s never catching on), is a commercial skyscraper in central London. It’s presently under development and is not expected to be complete until next year. When all is said and done, it will eventually have cost some £200 Million to build.


The structure gets its nickname as it’s thought to resemble a walkie talkie (though, to be honest, I can not see it myself). It’s also known as the pint, something that’s way more fitting.


When finished, the construction will stand at 160m from top to bottom and also have 37 floors. The ‘Walkie Talkie Tower’ was designed by Rafael Viñoly (the guy who built the Tokyo International Forum, Carrasco International Airport and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, just in case you wondered) and will feature a patch on the roof that’ll be open to public.


The tower is the subject of some controversies since project’s beginning. In the beginning, it was developed as being 200 metres high, but this was scaled back among worries that it would block out views of local landmarks Saint Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London. Heritage communities complained further and there was a public inquest (which unsurprisingly found in favour of those guys with £200Million burning a hole in their back pockets). The building work has suffered some delays (as it had been initially supposed to be complete by 2011), but is currently considered being on schedule.


The tower developed further headlines in 2013 after motorists complained that it was acting much like the giant magnifying glass and ‘melting’ their vehicles. In truth, the companies accountable of that building’s development actually paid out £1000 in compensation to a Mr. Lindsay, after his vehicle was severely damaged. Joint designers Land Securities and Canary Whorf Group issued the following statement in light of these actions, and Canary Whorf Group issued this report in light of these events, “As a gesture of goodwill, we have offered to meet the repair costs of his car. As responsible developers we take the issue seriously and are open to discussions with any individual or business that may have been adversely affected on a case by case basis.” That was nice of them.


That is good of them.


Shortly after nearby car parks were closed until later in the year, when the sun’s rays is less extreme.


Apparently, another building of Rafael Viñoly’s, the Vdara Hotel in Las Vegas, also suffers from the sunlight reflection problem, being nicknamed the ‘Vdara Death Ray’ by locals…


Also, I in fact just read that a number of motorists are referring to the tower as the ‘Fryscraper’. Now that is a name that could catch on.

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