Walkie Talkie 20 Fenchurch Street, London

Rafael Viñoly designed the 20 Fenchurch St. skyscraper, completed in 2014 near the St. Paul’s cathedral. It rises 160 m and 34 floors, and replaces an ugly 1960’s skyscraper by William H. Rogers.

The building has been attacked for reflecting intense concentrated sunlight and forming strong gusts of wind. It also has been panned for failing to fit in with the city design language, which I agree is a huge problem for London. How many foreign “unique” skyscrapers can one city contain? The gorgeous neo-Gothic language of downtown have been completely dismissed with these looming modern edifices.

Still, the curves are exciting and add dynamism to London’s rigid inner city. Look up from the ground and you see softly folding curves in the facade. The sky garden at the top is a wonderful sunlit space at the top of the city, filled with greenery and views. It fills 3 floors and includes a bar and restaurant.

(featured image by jayeastmansobel on flickr/public domain))