I’m happy you asked. 20 Fenchurch Street, warmly known as the ‘Walkie Talkie Tower’ and less kindly identified 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 isn’t supposed to be done until next year. When all is said and done, it will have cost some £200 Million to construct.
The structure gets its nickname as it is thought to resemble a walkie talkie (although, to be truthful, I can not see it myself). It is also known as the pint, a thing that is way more appropriate.
When completed, the building will stand at 160m high and also have 37 storeys. The ‘Walkie Talkie Tower’ was made by Rafael Viñoly (the guy who designed the Tokyo International Forum, Carrasco International Airport plus the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, just in case you wondered) and will include a patch on the roof that’ll be open to public.
The tower is the topic of some controversies since project’s beginning. At first, it was designed as being 200 m high, but this was scaled back among worries that it might block out views of local landmarks Saint Paul’s Cathedral plus the Tower of London. Heritage communities complained further and there is a community inquiry (which unsurprisingly found in favour of those guys with £200Million burning a hole in their wallets). The building work has suffered some delays (as it was initially supposed to be complete by 2011), but is currently thought being on schedule.
The tower made further headlines this year after motorists complained that it is acting much like the giant magnifying glass and ‘melting’ their cars. Actually, the firms responsible of the building’s development in fact paid out £1000 in compensation to a Mr. Lindsay, when his car was strictly damaged. Joint designers Land Securities and Canary Whorf Group issued this announcement in light of these events, and Canary Whorf Group issued the following statement 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 nice of them.
Shortly after nearby car parks were closed until later in the year, when the sun’s heat is less intense.
Curiously, another building of Rafael Viñoly’s, the Vdara Hotel in Las Vegas, also suffers from the daylight reflection problem, being nicknamed the ‘Vdara Death Ray’ by locals…
Also, I in fact just read that a few motorists are referring to the tower as the ‘Fryscraper’. Now that’s a name that may catch on.