- 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
Book review: The vertebrate architecture of one of the most important practices of the 20th century.
Matt Rhodes, Quiss Technology, explains how an increasing number are falling victim to sophisticated cyber-attacks.
Assembly drawings represent items that consist of more than one component and show how they fit together.
Is the water sector under too much pressure from the regulator?
Everything you need to know about acoustics in under 800 words.
Check out our list of the 90 most unusual buildings of all time.
The government is to set a personal consumption target to reduce water use.
BSRIA calls for more education to promote fuels that are fit to burn.
Michael Gove admits air pollution is making people ill and shortening lives.
BRE call for a clearer, focused drive for the delivery of sustainable, quality developments.
Proposals for a 140m high observation wheel next to the Tyne.