What’s all this about the walkie-talkie tower

I’m pleased you inquired. 20 Fenchurch Street, lovingly called as the ‘Walkie Talkie Tower’ and less affectionately identified as the ‘Walkie Scorchie’ (yeah, that is a reputation that’s by no means 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’ll have cost some £200 Million to build.


The building gets its nickname as it is thought to resemble a walkie talkie (although, to be truthful, I can’t see it myself). It’s also referred to as the pint, a thing that was much more fitting.


When completed, the building will stand at 160m high and also have 37 storeys. The ‘Walkie Talkie Tower’ was designed by Rafael Viñoly (the guy who designed the Tokyo International Forum, Carrasco International Airport and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, just in case you wondered) but will feature a garden on the roof that will be open to the public.


The tower has been the topic of some controversies since project’s inception. Initially, it had been built as being 200 metres high, but this was scaled back in the midst of concerns that it could obscure views of local landmarks Saint Paul’s Cathedral and also the Tower of London. Heritage groups complained further and there was a community inquest (which unsurprisingly found in favour of those guys with £200Million burning a hole in their back pockets). The construction work has suffered some delays (as it had been initially supposed to be complete by 2011), but is currently considered to be on schedule.


The tower made further headlines this year after motorists complained that it was acting much like the large magnifying glass and ‘melting’ their vehicles. In truth, the firms accountable of the building’s development actually paid out £1000 in compensation to a Mr. Lindsay, after his car was strictly damaged. Joint developers Land Securities and Canary Whorf Group issued the following statement in light of these actions, and Canary Whorf Group issued this statement in light of their 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.


Soon afterwards nearby car parks were closed until later in the year, when the sun’s rays is less intense.


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


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