20 Fenchurch Street, or Walkie Talkie as its most commonly name, is a commercial skyscraper in the historic City of London financial district. Construction was completed in spring 2014, and the top-floor ‘sky garden’ was opened in January 2015. The 34-storey building is 160m tall, making it the sixth-tallest building in the City of London and the 12th tallest in London.
Designed by architect Rafael Viñoly and costing over £200 million, 20 Fenchurch Street features a highly distinctive top-heavy form which appears to burst upward and outward. A large viewing deck, bar and restaurants are included on the top three floors; these are, with restrictions, open to the public.
Starting at the 35th floor, the three-storey space is one of the reasons the structure was designed to swell outwards at the top. This also means that the building’s biggest office floors boast the best views of the city skyline.
The new tower at 20 Fenchurch Street was designed by Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly in a postmodern style. The top-heavy design is partly intended to maximise floor space towards the top of the building, where rent is typically higher.
The building uses double- and triple-glazed penalised aluminium cladding on its exterior.
What Need to Know About ….. Walkie Talkie, London
- Dubbed the ‘sky garden’ at the top of the building was claimed to be London’s highest public park, but since opening, there have been debates about whether it can be described as a ‘park’, and whether it is truly ‘public’ given the access restrictions.
- The garden spans the top three floors, which are accessible by two express lifts and include a large viewing area, terrace, bar and two restaurants.
- Fourteen double-deck lifts (seven low-rise up to the 20th floor, seven high-rises above the 20th floor) serve the main office floors of the building.
- The south side of the structure is ventilated externally to improve efficiency and decrease solar gain, whilst the east and west faces incorporate extensive solar shading. There is a southern entrance in addition to the main northern entrance set back from Fenchurch Street.
Gallery of Walkie Talkie