What went wrong with the Walkie talkie building?

posted in: London 1

The Walkie Talkie Building

Part of Discover London with Georgina series

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Walkie talkie building also known as Sky Garden  opened in 2015 and it is a great place to visit at any time of the year. It is suitable for solo travellers, couples or for families. You can read more on this iconic building and how to visit for FREE.

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What went wrong with the walkie talkie building aka Sky Garden?

The Sky Garden which stands at 20 Fenchurch Street is a uniquely designed building in the heart of London’s financial district. It is also known as the Walkie-talkie building because of its distinctive curvy shape which has a heavier top to maximise floor space towards the top of the building. It is an open and vibrant place of leisure offering visitors a different kind of experience of London.

Sky Garden: London's landmark walkie-talkie building at 20 Fenchurch Street
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Sky Garden: London’s landmark walkie-talkie building at 20 Fenchurch Street

The Design of the walkie talkie

This distinctive building, designed by Uruguayan architect, Rafael Vinoly, was not always a popular building. It was once described as “inelegant, bloated, thuggish” and in 2015, it won the Carbuncle Cup, for being the worst building in London. The heavy top sticks out like a sore thumb and does not fit into the rest of the buildings in London’s skyline.

Moreover, the sun reflecting off the glass façade was said to have blistered paintwork on cars and shop fronts. The temperature was said to be so high that it could fry an egg on the pavement.

In addition, the shape of the building was said to create a wind tunnel at the base so strong that it started to blow-off food trolleys and people!

The “death ray” situation was fixed by attaching sunshades to the glass panels to prevent the sun reflecting off it and wind-turbines to help reduce the wind issues associated with the downdraught.

However, to a great extent, it is still true, I think, that it does stick out and does not fit into the rest of London’s skyline and the surrounding area that has low-rise buildings.

What do you think? Do let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, would love to hear from you.

Look forward to connecting & happy discovering London


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A few facts about 20 Fenchurch Street. via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/
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  1. […] What went wrong with the Sky Garden AKA the Walkie-talkie building? […]

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