FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Rise of the Walkie Talkie

Posted in England, London by folkestonejack on October 6, 2012

A moment on the balcony of the Tate Modern today highlighted how quickly the skeleton of the Walkie Talkie (officially known as 20 Fenchurch Street) is taking shape and how much of an impact it is going to make on the existing view of the City of London. The building really seems to impose itself on the skyline of the city and not in a good way. Remarkably, this is in spite of the design being down-sized from its original intended height.

The walkie talkie takes shape on the city skyline

Other new additions, such as the Gherkin, manage to be distinctive and attractive additions to the city without overwhelming their surroundings. I’m not sure the same can be said for the Walkie Talkie, particularly with its isolated position near the Thames and its much fatter top.

Walkie Talkie at sunset

The artist’s impressions of the viewing platform/sky gardens (see the urban 75 blog post Walkie Talkie tower, Fenchurch St crackles into life for a helpful overview) that are to be included on the top floor look very impressive and are sure to be a big tourist draw but I can’t help thinking it is a heavy price to pay for the effect it will have on the city skyline.

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