The Info List - 20 Fenchurch Street

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20 Fenchurch Street
Fenchurch Street
is a commercial skyscraper in London
that takes its name from its address on Fenchurch Street, in the historic City of London
financial district. It has been nicknamed 'The Walkie-Talkie' because of its distinctive shape.[4] Construction was completed in spring 2014, and the top-floor 'sky garden' was opened in January 2015.[5] The 34-storey building is 160 m (525 ft) tall, making it the sixth-tallest building in the City of London
City of London
and the 12th tallest in London. Designed by architect Rafael Viñoly
Rafael Viñoly
and costing over £200 million, 20 Fenchurch Street
Fenchurch Street
features a highly distinctive top-heavy form which appears to burst upward and outward. A large viewing deck, bar and restaurants are included on the top three floors; these are, with restrictions, open to the public. The tower was originally proposed at nearly 200 m (656 ft) tall but its design was scaled down after concerns about its visual impact on the nearby St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral
and Tower of London. It was subsequently approved in 2006 with the revised height. Even after the height reduction there were continued concerns from heritage groups about its impact on the surrounding area. The project was consequently the subject of a public inquiry; in 2007 this ruled in the developers' favour and the building was granted full planning permission.[6] In 2015 it was awarded the Carbuncle Cup
Carbuncle Cup
for the worst new building in the UK in the previous 12 months.[7][8]


1 Ownership 2 Previous building 3 Design 4 Construction 5 Awards 6 Criticisms

6.1 Solar glare problem 6.2 Sky garden 6.3 Wind tunnel effect

7 Tenancy 8 See also 9 References 10 External links

Ownership[edit] In July 2017 the Hong Kong food company Lee Kum Kee
Lee Kum Kee
Groups agreed to purchase the building from Land Securities
Land Securities
and Canary Wharf Group
Canary Wharf Group
for £1.3 billion.[2] Previous building[edit]

The previous building on the site, as seen from the Monument

The previous building at 20 Fenchurch Street
Fenchurch Street
was 91 m (299 ft) tall with 25 storeys and was built in 1968 by Land Securities. The architect was William H. Rogers.[9] The building was formerly occupied by Dresdner Kleinwort
Dresdner Kleinwort
and was notable for being one of the first tall buildings in the City of London, and for its distinctive roof. It was one of the towers nearest to the River Thames
River Thames
when viewed from the southern end of London Bridge. In 2007, one of the upper floors was used in the drama series Party Animals. Demolition of the building was completed in 2008. Despite the top-down method of construction, it was not demolished from the bottom-up, as a temporary structure was built, allowing Keltbray, the demolition contractor, to demolish the building from the top down. Design[edit] The new tower at 20 Fenchurch Street
Fenchurch Street
was designed by Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly
Rafael Viñoly
in a postmodern style[citation needed]. The top-heavy design is partly intended to maximise floor space towards the top of the building, where rent is typically higher. The building uses double- and triple-glazed panelised aluminium cladding on its exterior. The 'sky garden' at the top of the building was claimed to be London's highest public park, but since opening there have been debates about whether it can be described as a 'park', and whether it is truly 'public' given the access restrictions.[10] The garden spans the top three floors, which are accessible by two express lifts and include a large viewing area, terrace, bar and two restaurants. Fourteen double-deck lifts (seven low-rise up to the 20th floor, seven high-rise above the 20th floor) serve the main office floors of the building. The south side of the structure is ventilated externally to improve efficiency and decrease solar gain, whilst the east and west faces incorporate extensive solar shading. There is a southern entrance in addition to the main northern entrance set back from Fenchurch Street. Construction[edit] In January 2009, Canary Wharf Contractors began piling on the site of 20 Fenchurch Street. Piling and ground works were completed in June 2009.[11] In January 2011, work at the basement level of the tower began.[12] By the end of October 2011, the building was rising above street-level. December 2011 saw the tower's core begin to rise.[13][14] The concrete core was topped out in March 2012 and by July the structural steelwork was under way around the core. Structural steelwork topped out in December 2012.[15] Fire protection contractor Sharpfibre Ltd began applying fire protection to the structural steelwork in December 2012, completing in March 2013. Cementitious spray was applied to the steelwork, which was supplied directly to the entire building using a purpose-built mixing and pumping station located on the ground floor.[16] The building completed to shell and floor in April 2014 and the first tenants began moving into the building from May 2014 prior to final completion in August of that year.[17] Awards[edit] The building won the Carbuncle Cup
Carbuncle Cup
in 2015, awarded by Building Design magazine to the worst new building in the UK during the previous year.[7][8][18] The chairman of the jury that decided the prize, Thomas Lane, said "it is a challenge finding anyone who has something positive to say about this building", whilst a town planner at the nearby Royal Town Planning Institute
Royal Town Planning Institute
described the building as "a daily reminder never to let such a planning disaster ever happen again."[8] Criticisms[edit] Solar glare problem[edit] During the building's construction, it was discovered that for a period of up to two hours each day if the sun shines directly onto the building, it acts as a concave mirror and focuses light onto the streets to the south.[19] Spot temperature readings at street-level including up to 91 °C (196 °F)[20] and 117 °C (243 °F) were observed[21] during summer 2013, when the reflection of a beam of light up to six times brighter than direct sunlight shining onto the streets beneath damaged parked vehicles,[22] including one on Eastcheap
whose owner was paid £946 by the developers for repairs to melted bodywork. Temperatures in direct line with the reflection became so intense that a reporter for the newspaper City A.M.
City A.M.
was able to fry an egg in a pan set out on the ground.[23] The reflection also burned or scorched the doormat of a shop in the affected area. The media responded by dubbing the building the "Walkie-Scorchie"[24][25][26] and "Fryscraper".[19][27][28] In September 2013, the developers stated that the City of London Corporation had approved plans to erect temporary screening on the streets to prevent similar incidents, and that they were also "evaluating longer-term solutions to ensure the issue cannot recur in future".[19][29] In May 2014, it was announced that a permanent awning would be installed on the south side of the higher floors of the tower.[30] The building's architect, Rafael Viñoly, also designed the Vdara hotel in Las Vegas which reportedly has a similar sunlight reflection problem that some employees called the " Vdara
death ray".[31] The glass has since been covered with a non-reflective film.[32] In an interview with The Guardian, Viñoly said that horizontal louvre windows on the south side that had been intended to prevent this problem were removed at some point during the planning process. While he conceded that there had been "a lot of mistakes" with the building, he agreed with the building's developers that the sun was too high in the sky on that particular day. "[I] didn't realise it was going to be so hot," he said, suggesting that global warming was at fault. "When I first came to London
years ago, it wasn't like this ... Now you have all these sunny days."[32] Sky garden[edit]

The 'sky garden' occupies the 34th to 37th storeys

The 'sky garden' has been criticised since opening for the tight restrictions and advance booking requirements placed on the visiting public, and for failing to meet pre-construction expectations of the extent and quality of the "garden". Oliver Wainright, architecture critic of The Guardian, described it as "a meagre pair of rockeries, in a space designed with all the finesse of a departure lounge".[8] The City of London
City of London
Corporation's former chief planner, Peter Rees, who approved the structure, said: "I think calling it a sky garden is perhaps misleading. If people [are] expecting to visit it as an alternative to Kew, then they will be disappointed."[33] In July 2015 it was reported that planners are to consider a landscape architect's alterations to the layout, following claims it is not consistent with illustrations submitted with the original planning application. The 'sky garden' was a key feature in sealing approval for the building, which is situated outside the main cluster of skyscrapers in the City.[34] Wind tunnel effect[edit] In July 2015 it was reported that the building has had an unexpected impact on wind strength at street-level. The City of London Corporation received an increased number of complaints about draughts around 20 Fenchurch Street
Fenchurch Street
following its completion.[35] The Corporation's head of design, Gwyn Richards, said: "The wind outcome at street level experienced post-construction on a number of projects differs somewhat to the conditions we were expecting from the one outlined in the planning application wind assessments."[36] Tenancy[edit] In June 2012 the insurer Markel Corporation
Markel Corporation
signed a tenancy agreement with the developers to move into 20 Fenchurch Street
Fenchurch Street
upon its completion. Markel, previously based on Leadenhall Street, was the first confirmed tenant of the new tower and occupies the 25th to 27th floors.[37] Another insurance company, Kiln Group, announced in September 2012 that it had agreed to become the building's second tenant[38] and Ascot Underwriting followed in November 2012.[39] Other insurance companies that have taken space in the building include RSA Group, Tokio Marine, CNA Financial, Allied World, Liberty Mutual's European operations, and Harry Townsend Corp.[40] Other lettings have been agreed with Castleton Securities, Vanquis Bank, Jane Street Capital, DBRS, and lawyers DWF.[citation needed] Vinson & Elkins has signed a lease to take a floor of the building ahead of a summer 2015 move-in, meaning 98% of the available space is leased.[citation needed] As of 2017 the ground floor is let for retail and the office space is fully let.[2] See also[edit]

City of London
City of London
landmarks Plantation Place, a neighbouring office building St Margaret Pattens, a neighbouring 17th-century church Archimedes' heat ray


^ Beioley, Kate (13 January 2014). "DWF to move into Walkie Talkie building". The Lawyer. Retrieved 13 January 2014.  ^ a b c Butler, Sarah (27 July 2017). "London's Walkie Talkie building sold for record-breaking £1.3bn". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 July 2017.  ^ "Schedule of areas". 20 Fenchurch Street. Retrieved 7 January 2014.  ^ Heathcote, Edwin (4 November 2011). "Points on views". Financial Times. Retrieved 3 September 2013.  ^ "20 Fenchurch Street
Fenchurch Street
Opens". Skyscrapernews.com. 8 January 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2015.  ^ Land Securities
Land Securities
Land Securities
Group. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 10 July 2007.  ^ a b Lane, Thomas (2 September 2015). " Carbuncle Cup
Carbuncle Cup
2015 winner announced". Building Design. Retrieved 2 September 2015.  ^ a b c d Wainwright, Oliver (2 September 2015). "Carbuncle Cup: Walkie Talkie wins prize for worst building of the year". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 September 2015.  ^ Times Online (September 2008). "William Rogers: architect of groundbreaking office towers". London: Times Newspapers, Ltd. Retrieved 16 September 2008.  ^ Lizzie Edmonds and Jonathan Prynn (12 January 2015). "Walkie Talkie park opens amid row over public access". London
Evening Standard.  ^ Klettner, Andrea (19 October 2010). "Construction to start immediately on Viñoly's Walkie-Talkie". Building Design. Retrieved 3 September 2013.  ^ "Construction of Walkie-Talkie
Tower Begins". Londonist. 19 January 2011. Retrieved 3 September 2013.  ^ http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6108/6289438745_57da31881a_b.jpg ^ http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6103/6315754111_50ce6d10e3_b.jpg ^ Wainwright, Oliver (12 December 2012). "The Walkie-Talkie: battle of the bulge on Fenchurch Street". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 September 2013.  ^ "Sharpfibre Walks The Talk
And Delivers on Time". Sharpfibre. 27 February 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2013.  ^ "20 Fenchurch Street, EC3 – List of major London
properties – Land Securities".  ^ "London's Walkie Talkie judged UK's worst building". BBC News. 2 September 2015. Retrieved 2 September 2015.  ^ a b c Sherwin, Adam (2 September 2013). "Walkie Talkie City skyscraper renamed Walkie Scorchie after beam of light melts Jaguar car parked beneath it". The Independent.  ^ "Who, what, why: How does a skyscraper melt a car?". BBC. 3 September 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013.  ^ "London's 'fryscaper' draws crowd on hottest day". Mississauga.com. Retrieved 8 September 2013.  ^ Smith-Spark, Laura (3 September 2013). "Reflected light from London skyscraper melts car". CNN. Retrieved 10 February 2018.  ^ World News (3 September 2013). "Man Fries Egg in London
Skyscraper Heat". YouTube.  ^ Jefford, Kasmira; Waterson, James (28 August 2013). "Walkie Talkie building scorches Londoners". CITY A.M.  ^ Waterson, James (2 September 2013). "Exclusive: Walkie Scorchie melted my Jag". CITY A.M.  ^ " London
Walkie-Scorchie Skyscraper
Cost-Cutting Blamed for Car-Melting, Egg-Frying Reflected Sunbeams". International Business Times. 1 January 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2013.  ^ Marsden, Sam (2 September 2013). "Glare from Walkie-Talkie skyscraper 'damaged vehicles'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 3 September 2013.  ^ Spillane, Chris (4 September 2013). "London's Walkie-Talkie 'Fryscraper' Draws Crowds in Heat". Bloomberg. Retrieved 8 September 2013.  ^ " Walkie-Talkie
skyscraper to have screen put up to stop rays". BBC News. 3 September 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2013.  ^ Antonia Molloy (15 May 2014). "Walkie Talkie skyscraper to be fitted with permanent sunshade after it". The Independent.  ^ "'Death ray' at Vegas hotel pool heats up guests". MSNBC. 30 September 2010.  ^ a b Wainwright, Oliver (6 September 2013). "Walkie Talkie architect 'didn't realise it was going to be so hot'". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 September 2013.  ^ "Walkie Talkie skyscraper's public garden opens amid criticism". BBC News.  ^ "More woes for Walkie Talkie – Sky Garden not built to plans". Architects Journal.  ^ Oli Smith. "London's new Walkie Talkie skyscraper boom causes wind tunnel chaos for City Workers – UK – News – Daily Express". Daily Express.  ^ "Walkie Talkie skyscraper blamed for creating wind tunnel on the street". The Daily Telegraph. 22 July 2015.  ^ "Markel moves to Walkie Talkie in 2014". Journalism.co.uk. 29 June 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2013.  ^ Buckley, James (14 September 2012). "LandSec/Canary confirm Kiln letting at Walkie Talkie". CoStar UK. Retrieved 3 September 2013.  ^ "Insurer Amlin rents space in the Cheesegrater". The Telegraph. 17 December 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2013.  ^ "Research & Forecast Report". Colliers International. Retrieved 3 September 2013. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to 20 Fenchurch Street, London.

Official website Sky Garden website

v t e

Land Securities
Land Securities

Shopping centres

Bluewater (Greenhithe) (30%) Buchanan Galleries (Glasgow) Lewisham Shopping (Lewisham) O2 Centre
O2 Centre
(Finchley) One New Change
One New Change
(City of London) Priory Square (Birmingham) ShopStop (Clapham Junction) (50% with Delancey) Southside (Wandsworth) (50% with Delancey) St. David's (Cardiff)
St. David's (Cardiff)
(50% with intu) Trinity Leeds
Trinity Leeds
(Leeds) West 12 (Shepherd's Bush) Westgate (Oxford) White Rose Centre
White Rose Centre

Outlet centres

Gunwharf Quays
Gunwharf Quays
(Portsmouth) The Galleria (Hatfield)

Retail parks

Lakeside (West Thurrock) Team Valley
Team Valley
(Gateshead) Westwood Cross
Westwood Cross


Bentley Bridge (Wolverhampton) Brighton Marina
Brighton Marina
(Brighton) (commercial operations only) Cardigan Fields (Leeds) Lockmeadow (Maidstone) Parrs Wood
Parrs Wood
(Manchester) Riverside (Norwich) The Cornerhouse (Nottingham) The Printworks
The Printworks
(Manchester) Tower Park (Poole) West India Quay
West India Quay
(Canary Wharf) Xscape Milton Keynes (Milton Keynes) Xscape Yorkshire (Castleford)


20 Fenchurch Street
Fenchurch Street
(City of London) Cardinal Place
Cardinal Place
(Westminster) Nova (Westminster) (50% with CPPIB) Oriana (West End) (50% with Frogmore) Piccadilly Lights (Piccadilly Circus) Portland House
Portland House

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Skyscrapers over 140 metres in the United Kingdom



West Tower


10 Upper Bank Street 20 Fenchurch Street 22 Marsh Wall 25 Bank Street 30 St. Mary Axe 40 Bank Street 8 Canada Square Baltimore Tower Broadgate Tower BT Tower Citigroup Centre Guy's Hospital
Guy's Hospital
Tower Heron Tower Leadenhall Building One Canada Square One Churchill Place Pan Peninsula The Shard South Bank Tower St George Wharf Tower Strata SE1 Tower 42


Beetham Tower

Under construction


1 Blackfriars 100 Bishopsgate 22 Bishopsgate 250 City Road
250 City Road
Tower 1 Canada Water Building C4 Heron Quays West Highpoint Landmark Pinnacle Maine Tower Manhattan Loft Gardens Newfoundland Quay One Nine Elms
One Nine Elms
1 & 2 Principal Tower The Scalpel South Quay Plaza Wardian East & West Towers


Deansgate Square
Deansgate Square
(South, East and West Towers)



Regal Tower


1 Leadenhall Street 40 Leadenhall Street 69-71 Bondway North Quay One Park Drive Principal Place Riverside South Spire London Wood Wharf


Deansgate Square
Deansgate Square
(North Tower) Piccadilly Tower St. John's Tower Trinity Islands (Towers V and X)



Shanghai Tower

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Approved and current major construction projects in London

Development sites

Battersea Power Station Brent Cross Cricklewood Canary Wharf's New District Chelsea Barracks Cherry Orchard Road Convoys Wharf Earl's Court Elephant and Castle
Elephant and Castle
(Heygate Estate) Meridian Water Embassy Gardens Greenwich Peninsula Kidbrooke
Village King's Cross Central Lewisham Gateway London
Riverside Northumberland Development Project One Tower Bridge Olympic Park (East Village) Paddington Waterside Royal Albert Dock Ruskin Square Southall Gas Works Wembley City Westfield Croydon Westfield London
Phase 2


One Blackfriars 22 Bishopsgate 40 Leadenhall Street 100 Bishopsgate Baltimore Tower Heron Quays West Landmark Pinnacle One Landsdown Road North Quay One Park Place Principal Place Riverside South Spire London St George Wharf Tower The Scalpel


(Bond Street station, Paddington station, Tottenham Court Road station) High Speed 2 Northern line extension to Battersea London
Power Tunnels Thameslink Programme
Thameslink Programme
(Farringdon station, London Bridge
London Bridge
station) Thames Tideway Tunnel Victoria U