I am delighted you asked. 20 Fenchurch Street, warmly called as the ‘Walkie Talkie Tower’ and less affectionately called as the ‘Walkie Scorchie’ (yeah, that’s a reputation that’s never catching on), is a commercial skyscraper in central London. It’s presently under development and is not expected to be finished until next year. When all is said and done, it’ll have cost some £200 Million to build.
The building gets its nickname because it’s thought to resemble a walkie talkie (although, being truthful, I can’t see it myself). It is too referred to as the pint, a thing that is far more appropriate.
When completed, the construction will stand at 160m in height and have 37 floors. The ‘Walkie Talkie Tower’ was designed by Rafael Viñoly (the guy who made the Tokyo International Forum, Carrasco International Airport and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, just in case you wondered) and can include a patch on the roof that’ll be open to public.
The tower has been the subject of some controversies since project’s beginning. Initially, it’s built as being 200 m high, but this was scaled back in the midst of concerns that it could block out views of local landmarks Saint Paul’s Cathedral along with the Tower of London. Heritage communities complained further and there was a open investigation (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 originally expected to be complete by 2011), but is now thought being on schedule.
The tower made 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 responsible of that building’s development in fact paid out £1000 in compensation to a Mr. Lindsay, when his vehicle was severely damaged. Joint designers Land Securities and Canary Whorf Group issued this announcement in light of those events, and Canary Whorf Group issued the following announcement in light of the 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’s good of them.
Shortly afterwards nearby car parks were closed until later in the year, when the sun’s rays would be less extreme.
Curiously, another structure 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 actually just read that a number of motorists are referring to the tower as the ‘Fryscraper’. Now that’s a name that could catch on.