The Walkie Talkie


The Walkie Talkie is the nickname given to the building deigned by Rafael Viñoly located at 20 Fenchurch Street in London.


The nickname comes from the buildings appearance. Encased in a white shell, the floors of the building widen as the building rises, resulting in a shape similar to that of a walkie-talkie. The building was completed in 2014 and won the award for ‘Best Commercial High-rise Architecture London’ at the 2015 International Property Awards. The building consists of 32 floors and rises to a height of 579 feet. This building combines public and private space as it houses offices as well as a three-level roof garden which is open to the public. Although receiving harsh criticism such as being “a sty in London’s eye”, this building is a remarkable piece of architecture. This building should be on any traveler’s list of places to visit not just for its architecture but also for the incredible 360 degree vantage point from its Sky Garden.    

Did you know?: While under construction, the reflected sunlight from the concave glass of the building reportedly melted parts of a man’s car. This had also occurred in Viñoly’s building in Las Vegas. The Vdara Hotel in Las Vegas  had a similar style of glass and reportedly melted plastic cups and bags and left bathers in the hotel’s swimming pool uncomfortably warm and as a result, the effect was dubbed the ‘Vdara Death Ray’. This has since been fixed in both buildings. Shades have been installed in the windows which can be seen in the accompanying photograph. The original building would have been entirely clear glass which is visible on the right hand side of the building in the photograph and the additional shades are visible in the darker panels on the left had side of the building.

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