What went wrong with the Walkie talkie building?

What went wrong with the Walkie talkie building?

Walkie Talkie aka Sky Garden

The Walkie Talkie building also known as Sky Garden  opened in 2015 and it is a great place to visit at any time of the year. Suitable for solo travellers, couples as well as for families, a visit to this iconic building should be one of London’s “must do” items.

The building’s unique design has not always been a popular one and had drawn many glances, as well as comments which continues to do so to this day. Here is a brief look at what makes the walkie talkie the talk of town.

walkie talkie building in London

What went wrong with the walkie talkie building aka Sky Garden

The Sky Garden which stands at 20 Fenchurch Street is a uniquely designed building in the heart of London’s financial district. It is also known as the Walkie-talkie building because of its distinctive curvy shape which has a heavier top to maximise floor space towards the top of the building. It is an open and vibrant place of leisure offering visitors a different kind of experience of London.

The design of the walkie talkie building

This distinctive building, designed by Uruguayan architect, Rafael Vinoly, was not always a popular building. It was once described as “inelegant, bloated, thuggish” and in 2015, it won the Carbuncle Cup, for being the worst building in London. Referred to as “The heavy top sticks out like a sore thumb and does not fit into the rest of the buildings in London’s skyline”.

Moreover, the sun reflecting off the glass façade was said to have blistered paintwork on cars and shop fronts. The temperature was said to be so high that it could fry an egg on the pavement.

In addition, the shape of the building was said to create a wind tunnel at the base so strong that it started to blow-off food trolleys and people!

The “death ray” situation was fixed by attaching sunshades to the glass panels to prevent the sun reflecting off it and wind-turbines to help reduce the wind issues associated with the downdraught.

However, to a great extent, it is still true, I think, that it does stick out and does not fit into the rest of London’s skyline and the surrounding area that has low-rise buildings.


Recommended read: 5 Reasons Why you will enjoy a visit to the Sky Garden London


How about you?

What do you think? Does the Walkie Talkie fit into London’s skyline? Do let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, would love to hear from you.

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Look forward to connecting & happy discovering London

Georgina xx


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What went wrong with the Walkie talkie building? first published at timelesstravelsteps and is regularly updated. Last update January 4, 2022

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5 Reasons Why You Will Enjoy A Visit to the Sky Garden London

5 Reasons Why You Will Enjoy A Visit to the Sky Garden London

Sky Garden London opened in 2015 and offer visitors breathtaking views of London’s Skyline. You can enjoy a visit here for FREE if you plan your visit beforehand. Follow me while I introduce to you my top 5 reasons why you would enjoy a visit to Sky Garden London and how you can do so for free.

Sky Garden, London

Sky Garden is a landmark in London and makes a great place to visit at any time of the year. It is suitable for solo travellers, couples or for families. Although I have been here before, I had never visited during Christmas. When a friend of mine suggested that we should, I decided to go along and enjoy the day.

It is a popular tourist attraction as well as for Londoners to hang-out or for couples planning a romantic date-night. I was fortunate that the day we chose to visit Sky Garden was a clear and sunny day. With the festive season in the air, the Christmas decorations and music was an added bonus! Started off the day with a lovely cup of vanilla latte :), courtesy of my friend whom I shall refer to as T.

Sky Garden v. The Shard

If you are visiting London, then a visit to the Sky Garden should be on your list. You do not have to pay £32.00 like you do in the Shard for a view of London’s skyline. You get 360-degree unobstructed views and I don’t think you will be disappointed! However, the Shard is the tallest building in the City of London and the viewing deck is at level 72, at 244 meters (800 feet) whereas the Sky Garden is 160 meters tall (525 feet). I guess it all comes down to choices and as here, the choice is all yours.

Recommended read: Tours in the City of London which you may like

Here are 5 reasons why I think you will enjoy a visit to Sky Garden

1 | 20 Fenchurch Street, London

Sky Garden is a unique building located in the financial hub of the City of London, at 20 Fenchurch Street. Designed by architect Rafael Vinoly, the project costed over £200 million. The shape of the building is an attraction in itself as it is referred as the “walkie-talkie” building – see below – where it is larger and heavy at the top than at the bottom. It appears to burst upward and outward. Each floor is uniquely laid out as the floor plates gets larger in size as the floors go up. There is only one of such shaped building in London, making it a landmark and a sought after address for businesses.

Recommended read: What went wrong with the Walkie Talkie Building in London

2. 6th Tallest Building in London

Sky Garden is the 6th tallest building in the City of London and has 38-floors. This skyscraper is 160 meters (525 feet) tall and the “sky garden” itself is located from floors 34 to 37, offering 3-storeys of open and vibrant place of leisure, exquisite landscaped gardens, observation decks and an open-air terrace. – a a garden in the sky. There are dedicated express lifts to Sky Garden.

3 | 360-degree of London’s Skyline

A visit here is an opportunity to experience London with amazing views of the city’s skyline, giving you a 360-degree unobstructed views of London’s top buildings. On a clear day, you will be able to see St. Katherine Docks, Tower Bridge, the Shard, the London Eye, Wembley Stadium and more.

Recommended read: 7 Key benefits of the London Pass and What to expect when you buy one

4 | Food and Drink at Sky Garden London

Food & Drink – There are four different dining experiences which awaits you on floors 35 to 37. From refined dining experience which offers finest seafood, seasonal game and meat to a bar and a gallery kitchen giving you unobstructed, breath-taking views over the City of London, day or night. You can check what’s offered on the menu in Darwin, Sky Pod, Fenchurch Terrace and the City Garden Bar here.

5 | FREE Entry to Sky Garden

Finally, and importantly, entry to Sky Garden is FREE but ticketed. These are available only for day visits. Visits are designed for an hour and tickets are released 3-weeks in advance which you will need to pre book. You will need to provide your name and the names of each one in your group (if you are vising in a group). You can find out more about booking your FREE visit at the official Sky Garden website, skygarden.london

My thoughts of Sky Garden London

I think a visit to the Sky Garden will not disappoint you. It certainly gives you the opportunity to enjoy a 360-degree view of London’s Skyline. If you are here at sunset, the view is breathtaking as you see the changes in the colours of the sky, and you can watch the sunset over a glass of wine or bourbon.

Travel tips and Useful information:

Public ticketed hours:

Monday – Friday     10am – 6pm

Weekends – 11am – 9pm

Getting here:

Underground

Monument Tube Station    –   2-minute walk from Sky Garden

Bank Tube Station   –   5-minute walk from Sky Garden

Cannon Street Tube Station  –  5-minute walk from Sky Garden

Mainline Stations

Fenchurch Street Railway Station  –  5-minute walk from Sky Garden

Cannon Street Railway Station  –  5-minute walk from Sky Garden

Liverpool Street Station  –  9-minute walk from Sky Garden

Docklands Light Railway

Bank Station  –   5-minute walk from Sky Garden

Finally, was this post valuable to you in planning your visit to Sky Garden. Do let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you.

Things to see and do in London

There are more than one way to experience London – experience London’s Parks and Gardens like never before while also exploring London with the recommended 10 tours of the City. As well, consider purchasing the London Explorer Pass which is a bargain for sightseeing in London. For more ways to experience London, get your guide to Londons top sights and book early, so you do not miss out!

What activities will you do when you visit your chosen destination?
What activities will you do when you visit your chosen destination?
What activities will you do when you visit your chosen destination?

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I hope the above information was resourceful in supporting your visit to the Sky Garden London. If so, do let me know in comments below or contact me for further information. I look forward to hearing from you.

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Happy discovering London 🙂

Georgina xx


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“I’ve been walking about London for the last 30 years, and I find something fresh in it every day.”

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5 Reasons Why You Will Enjoy A Visit to the Sky Garden London first published at timelesstravelsteps.com and is regularly updated. Last update September 4, 2021

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