Meeting 2 – The Walkie Talkie

On 27th January 2016 10 members visited the Sky Garden in the Walkie Talkie building, 20 Fenchurch Street.

The Sky Garden Web site is http://skygarden.london/

Observations

The weather was not great, so we were not able to go onto the terrace.  This restricted our view of the south bank of the Thames.

Along the south bank we identified the City Hall and the surrounding More London development (Norman Foster and Ken Shuttleworth). Ed has agreed to do some research on the city hall.

In the distance we had a clear view of the Electric Razor Building – Strata Tower, the tallest residential tower in London with 3 large wind turbines in the roof.  Richard said he had heard that the turbines don’t work. http://www.urban75.org/blog/the-rarely-spinning-turbines-of-the-strata-tower-south-london/ gives more details about why this building does not work.  On the other hand Wikipedia indicates that the building has won loads of awards.  We should obviously find out more about Strata Tower, though Elephant and Castle probably won’t be high on the list of places we want to visit.

The Shard (completed in 2013) is the most prominent building on the south bank.  Its pointed design could not be more unlike the top heavy design of the Walkie Talkie we were standing in. The Shard is designed by Renzio Piano who is also responsible for a very different development to the south east of Tottenham Court Station, and who is proposing a cylindrical development at Paddington.

(I was going to use “different” rather than “unlike” in the above paragraph but could not decide which preposition to use.  An interesting article on “different” is http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2014/01/different-from-than-to/ )

 

Directions

The Postcode of 20 Fenchurch Street is OL9 6AA.

If you are coming from Fenchurch Street Station turn left when you get to Fenchurch Street, and number 20 is about 4 or 5 blocks to the west.

Liverpool Street station is to the west of Bishopsgate, so when coming from Liverpool Street station turn right into Bishopsgate.  Bishopsgate leads into Gracechurch Street.  Continue along Gracechurch Street for 2 blocks and turn left into Fenchurch Street.  Google said that it is a 10 minute walk from Liverpool Street Station, but I have a short stride so it actually took me 20 minutes.

The entrance for the Sky Garden is at the back of the building.

The walk from Liverpool Street stations passes near several interesting buildings, so we could have another excursion in that area.

Natalie’s Notes

From the Sky Garden in the Walkie Talkie one has a wonderful view of the Shard, a completely different skyscraper. We are in a building which bulges because the rent charged for office spaces increases the higher up one goes, and we are looking at a pointy building which has offices underneath an hotel, with flats at the top.

Query:- Which building gives the developers a better return?

The building was designed by the Uragy Designed by world-renowned architect Rafael Viñoly.

Rafael Viñoly Beceiro is an Uruguayan architect. He is the principal of Rafael Viñoly Architects, which he founded in 1983 and has offices in New York, Palo Alto, London, Manchester, Abu Dhabi and Buenos Aires.

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