The Sky Garden which stands at 20 Fenchurch Street is a uniquely designed building in the heart of London’s financial district. I have written a blog previously on Sky Garden which you can access here and find out how and when you can visit this iconic building for Free by prior planning. The Sky Garden is known as the Walkie-talkie building because of its distinctive curvy shape which has a heavier top to maximise floor space towards the top of the building. It is an open and vibrant place of leisure offering visitors a different kind of experience of London.
This distinctive building, designed by Uruguayan architect, Rafael Vinoly, was not always a popular building. It was once described as “inelegant, bloated, thuggish” and in 2015, it won the Carbuncle Cup, for being the worst building in London. The heavy top sticks out like a sore thumb and does not fit into the rest of the buildings in London’s skyline. Moreover, the sun reflecting off the glass façade was said to have blistered paintwork on cars and shop fronts. The temperature was said to be so high that it could fry an egg on the pavement. In addition, the shape of the building was said to create a wind tunnel at the base so strong that it started to blow-off food trolleys and people! The “death ray” situation was fixed by attaching sunshades to the glass panels to prevent the sun reflecting off it and wind-turbines to help reduce the wind issues associated with the downdraught.
However, to a great extent, it is still true, I think, that it does stick out and does not fit into the rest of London’s skyline and the surrounding area that has low-rise buildings.
What do you think?