20 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. Construction was completed in spring 2014, and the top-floor ‘sky garden’ was opened in January 2015. The 34-storey building is 160 m (525 ft) tall, making it the fifth-tallest building in the City of London and the 13th tallest in London.
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. 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. In 2015 it was awarded the Carbuncle Cup for the worst new building in the UK in the previous 12 months.
20 Fenchurch Street