20 FENCHURCH STREET is a commercial skyscraper in
Designed by architect Rafael Viñoly and costing over £200 million, 20 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 and
Tower of London
* 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
The previous building on the site, as seen from the Monument
The building was formerly occupied by
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
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.
The new tower at 20 Fenchurch Street was designed by Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly in a postmodern style. 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. 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.
In January 2009, Canary Wharf Contractors began piling on the site of 20 Fenchurch Street. Piling and ground works were completed in June 2009.
In January 2011, work at the basement level of the tower began. By the end of October 2011, the building was rising above street-level. December 2011 saw the tower's core begin to rise. 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.
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.
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.
The building won the Carbuncle Cup in 2015, awarded by Building Design magazine to the worst new building in the UK during the previous year. 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 described the building as "a daily reminder never to let such a planning disaster ever happen again."
SOLAR GLARE PROBLEM
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. Spot temperature readings at street-level including up to 91 °C (196 °F) and 117 °C (243 °F) were observed 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, 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. was able to fry an egg in a pan set out on the ground. 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" and "Fryscraper".
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". In May 2014, it was announced that a permanent awning would be installed on the south side of the higher floors of the tower.
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 "
In an interview with
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
City of London
WIND TUNNEL EFFECT
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 following its completion. 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."
In June 2012 the insurer Markel Corporation signed a tenancy agreement with the developers to move into 20 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.
Another insurance company, Kiln Group, announced in September 2012
that it had agreed to become the building's second tenant and Ascot
Underwriting followed in November 2012. Other insurance companies
that have taken space in the building include RSA Group , Tokio Marine
CNA Financial , Allied World,
Other lettings have been agreed with Castleton Securities, Vanquis Bank, Jane Street Capital, DBRS , and lawyers DWF . Vinson ">
As of 2017 the ground floor is let for retail and the office space is fully let.
City of London
* ^ 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
* ^ "Schedule of areas". 20 Fenchurch Street. Retrieved 7 January
* ^ Heathcote, Edwin (4 November 2011). "Points on views".
Financial Times. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
* ^ "20
Fenchurch Street Opens". Skyscrapernews.com. 8 January
2015. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
Land Securities (July 2007). "LAND SECURITIES\' 20 FENCHURCH
STREET TOWER APPROVED" (PDF).
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 2015 winner
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".
* ^ "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.