I’m glad you asked. 20 Fenchurch Street, kindly famous as the ‘Walkie Talkie Tower’ and less kindly known as the ‘Walkie Scorchie’ (yeah, that’s a reputation that is in no way catching on), is a commercial skyscraper in inner London. It’s presently under development and is not supposed to be completed until next year. When all is said and done, it will eventually have cost some £200 Million to create.
The structure gets its nickname because it is thought to resemble a walkie-talkie (while, to be honest, I can’t see it myself). It’s too known as the pint, something that is far more fitting.
When done, the construction will stand at 160m high and also have 37 storeys. The ‘Walkie Talkie Tower’ was designed by Rafael Viñoly (the guy who made the Tokyo International Forum, Carrasco International Airport and also the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, just in case you wondered) and can feature a garden on the roof which will be open to the public.
The tower is the topic of some controversies since project’s inception. Initially, it’s developed 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 plus the Tower of London. Heritage groups complained further and there is a community investigation (which unsurprisingly found in favour of those guys with £200Million burning a hole in their wallets). The structure work has suffered some delays (as it had been initially expected to be completed by 2011), but is now considered being on schedule.
The tower developed further headlines in 2013 after motorists complained that it’s acting like a large magnifying glass and ‘melting’ their vehicles. In fact, the firms accountable of that building’s development actually paid out £1000 in compensation to a Mr. Lindsay, when his car was strictly damaged. Joint developers Land Securities and Canary Whorf Group issued this 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 was nice of them.
Shortly after nearby car parks were closed until later in the year, when the sun’s rays is less intense.
Curiously, another structure of Rafael Viñoly’s, the Vdara Hotel in Las Vegas, also suffers from a sunlight reflection problem, being nicknamed the ‘Vdara Death Ray’ by locals…
Also, I actually just read that a few motorists are referring to the tower as the ‘Fryscraper’. Now that’s a reputation that may catch on.