- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 28 Jul 2017
20 Fenchurch Street
20 Fenchurch Street is a 160 m (525 ft) tall commercial skyscraper in the City of London, designed by Rafael Vinoly. It was nicknamed 'the Walkie-Talkie' because of its distinctive shape, designed to maximise floor space at the higher levels.
The 37-storey tower was constructed on a site outside the designated 'cluster' of City of London high-rises. The City's chief planner gave permissions based on the inclusion of a 'Babylonian sky garden' which would provide a new public piazza for visitors to view the Square Mile.
It gained notoriety for producing powerful downdraughts and hit the headlines during the summer of 2013, when its south-facing concave facade focused sunlight down onto the streets below, where it damaged parked vehicles. A permanent non-reflective awning had to be installed to cover the glass.
Not only was the exterior derided, but the public 'Sky garden' on the top levels was described as having been “designed with all the finesse of a departure lounge”. It was the unanimous winner of the 2015 Carbuncle Cup, with one voter claiming their new life goal was to see the building demolished.
In July 2017, the building was sold to a Hong Kong manufacturing company Lee Kum Kee for £1.3billion - a record price for a single building in the UK. This represents a profit of 167% on the development cost.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
GMP is an agreement with a contractor that the contract sum will not exceed a specified maximum. Read more here.
The BREEAM Sustainability Champion is changing to the Advisory Professional - here's what you need to know.
A fresh round of job-cuts takes the total number of redundancies to over 1,000.
Read our introductory article to the completion date in construction contracts.
Almost 90% of freight in London is moved by road. The River Thames could add much needed extra capacity.
National Infrastructure Commission warn that large infrastructure projects are at risk of falling behind.
The quality of Cambridge owes as much to its open spaces as to its architectural uniqueness.
If events occur that cause the completion of the works to be delayed then these may be compensation events.
BSRIA's new Building MOTs Scheme is designed to provide guidance on the next steps after compliance.
At an ICE discussion, the focus was on delivering a Northern Infrastructure Strategy based on opportunity for all.