When we found this article we were so excited, having sought for over a year for this, discovering it on this site was an thrilling time for me.
Im glad you asked. 20 Fenchurch Street, affectionately known as the Walkie Talkie Tower (named this because it resembles a Walkie Talkie) and less affectionately known as the Walkie Scorchie (yeah, thats a name thats never catching on), is a commercial skyscraper in central London. It is presently under construction and is not expected to be finished until next year. When all is said and done, it will have cost some 200 Million to create.
The building gets its nickname because it is considered to resemble a walkie-talkie (although, to be honest, I cant see it myself). It is also called the pint, something that is far more fitting.
When completed, the building will stand at 160m high and have 37 storeys. The Walkie Talkie Tower was designed by Rafael Violy (the guy who designed the Tokyo International Forum, Carrasco International Airport and the Brooklyn Childrens Museum, just in case you wondered) and will feature a garden on the roof that will be open to the public.
The tower has been the subject of some controversies since the projects inception. At first, it was designed as being 200 metres high, but this was scaled back amid concerns that it would obscure views of local landmarks Saint Pauls Cathedral and the Tower of London. Heritage groups complained further and there was a public inquiry (which unsurprisingly found in favour of the guys with 200Million burning a hole in their back pockets). The building work has suffered some delays (as it was originally supposed to be complete by 2011), but is now considered to be on schedule.
The tower made further headlines this year after motorists complained that it was acting like a giant magnifying glass and melting their cars. In fact, the firms in charge of the buildings development actually paid out 1000 in compensation to a Mr. Lindsay, after his car was severely damaged. Joint developers Land Securities 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.
Shortly afterwards nearby car parks were closed until later in the year, when the suns rays would be less intense.
Interestingly, another building of Rafael Violys, 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 some motorists are referring to the tower as the Fryscraper. Now thats a name that could catch on.