I am happy you inquired. 20 Fenchurch Street, affectionately famous as the ‘Walkie Talkie Tower’ and less affectionately called as the ‘Walkie Scorchie’ (yeah, that is a name that’s by no means catching on), is a commercial skyscraper in inner London. It is presently under construction and is not expected to be completed until next year. When all is said and done, it’ll have cost some £200 Million to create.
The building gets its nickname because it’s thought to resemble a walkie talkie (although, to be truthful, I can not see it myself). It is too referred to as the pint, something that was much more fitting.
When completed, the construction will stand at 160m high and have 37 floors. The ‘Walkie Talkie Tower’ was designed by Rafael Viñoly (the guy who made the Tokyo International Forum, Carrasco International Airport plus the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, just in case you wondered) and can include a garden on the roof which will be open to the public.
The tower has been the subject of some controversies since project’s beginning. Initially, it was developed as being 200 metres high, but this was scaled back among concerns that it’d block out views of local landmarks Saint Paul’s Cathedral plus the Tower of London. Heritage groups complained further and there is a open investigation (which unsurprisingly found in favour of those guys with £200Million burning a hole in their back pockets). The structure work has suffered some delays (as it was originally expected to be complete by 2011), but is now thought to be on schedule.
The tower made further headlines in 2013 after motorists complained that it is acting like a giant magnifying glass and ‘melting’ their vehicles. In fact, the companies responsible of that building’s development actually paid out £1000 in compensation to a Mr. Lindsay, when his vehicle was severely damaged. Joint designers Land Securities and Canary Whorf Group issued the following statement in light of those events, and Canary Whorf Group issued the following statement 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 good of them.
Soon afterwards nearby car parks were closed until later in the year, when the sun’s heat would be less intense.
Curiously, another structure 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 in fact just read that some motorists are referring to the tower as the ‘Fryscraper’. Now that is a name that may catch on.