I’m happy you inquired. 20 Fenchurch Street, lovingly called as the ‘Walkie Talkie Tower’ and less kindly called as the ‘Walkie Scorchie’ (yeah, that’s a reputation that is by no means catching on), is a commercial skyscraper in central London. It is presently under development and isn’t supposed to be completed until next year. When all is said and done, it’ll have cost some £200 Million to construct.
The building gets its nickname because it’s considered to resemble a walkie-talkie (although, being honest, I can’t see it myself). It’s also called the pint, something that was much more appropriate.
When finished, the building will stand at 160m in height and also have 37 floors. The ‘Walkie Talkie Tower’ was designed by Rafael Viñoly (the guy who built the Tokyo International Forum, Carrasco International Airport as well as the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, just in case you wondered) and will feature a patch on the roof that will be open to the public.
The tower is the topic of some controversies since project’s foundation. Initially, it had been developed as being 200 m high, but this was scaled back amid 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 open 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 expected to be completed by 2011), but is currently thought being on schedule.
The tower developed further headlines in 2013 after motorists complained that it is acting like a giant magnifying glass and ‘melting’ their cars. In truth, the companies responsible 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 those events, and Canary Whorf Group issued the following announcement 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 is good of them.
Soon afterwards nearby car parks were closed until later in the year, when the sun’s rays would be less intense.
Apparently, another building 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 in fact just read that a few motorists are referring to the tower as the ‘Fryscraper’. Now that is a reputation that could catch on.