HQ Architecture + [tower]

Londra, Regno Unito: 20 Fenchurch Street by Rafael ViÑOly Architects
20 Fenchurch Street by Rafael Vinoly Architects

“20 Fenchurch Street is rapidly taking shape on London’s skyline, now almost fully clad, the 64,140sq m tower is due for completion next year. Today the 37-storey tower has been blamed for blistering paintwork, smashed tiles and singed fabric.

20 Fenchurch Street by Rafael Vinoly Architects

The half-finished 37-storey tower at 20 Fenchurch Street in central London, dubbed the "Walkie Talkie" due to its distinctive shape, is now being called the "Walkie Scorchie" because of its apparent ability to bounce heat from the sun on to buildings in the next street.

20 Fenchurch Street by Rafael Vinoly Architects

With such a distinctive form, this building will always divide opinion as it joins the growing number of unconventional towers now jostling for attention in the capital’s financial heartland” reports The Guardian. Viñoly maintains that the design – criticised by some as overwhelming – respects the City’s historic character by “following the contour of the river and the medieval streets”.

20 Fenchurch Street by Rafael Vinoly Architects

“The building form is drawn back from its maximum possible footprint to mirror the city street pattern while simultaneously establishing a visual connection to the emerging cluster of high-rises, receding from nearby historic buildings, and opening views through the site to contribute to the immediate public realm.” Rafael Viñoly Architects

20 Fenchurch Street by Rafael Vinoly Architects

Developers Land Securities and Canary Wharf previously said they were working to prevent the problem from taking place, and said in a joint statement on Tuesday night: "Following approval from the City of London, we will be erecting a temporary scaffold screen at street level on Eastcheap within the next 24 hours.

20 Fenchurch Street by Rafael Vinoly Architects

This solution should minimise the impact on the local area over the next two to three weeks, after which time the phenomenon is expected to have disappeared. "We are also continuing to evaluate longer-term solutions to ensure this issue does not recur in future." the developers behind a skyscraper blamed for starting fires and causing damage by reflecting the sun's rays have said they will erect a temporary scaffold screen in a bid to stop the "phenomenon".

20 Fenchurch Street by Rafael Vinoly Architects

Ali Akay, of Re Style barber's, said the position of the sun at a certain time of day caused a searing bolt of sunlight to start a small fire and burn a hole in his company doormat: "We just saw the smoke coming out of the carpet. We tried to cut the fire down, there were customers in at the time and they were obviously not happy. Customers are not going to come in if there is a fire in the front of the door."

20 Fenchurch Street by Rafael Vinoly Architects

Previously, the tower haddifficulty on the "Rights of light" that could impair the completion scheduled for 2014.Donal McCabe, a spokesman for Land Securities, said: "When we got planning consent on 20 Fenchurch Street in 2009, we did quite a lot on resolving rights of light matters, but the Heaney case has muddied the waters for all developers."

20 Fenchurch Street by Rafael Vinoly Architects
20 Fenchurch Street by Rafael Vinoly Architects
20 Fenchurch Street by Rafael Vinoly Architects
20 Fenchurch Street by Rafael Vinoly Architects
20 Fenchurch Street by Rafael Vinoly Architects
20 Fenchurch Street by Rafael Vinoly Architects

Location: London, Uk Architect: Rafael Viñoly Architects Executive architect: Adamson Associates Developers Land Securities: Canary Wharf Group Structural and facade engineer: Halcrow Yolles Contractor: Canary Wharf Contractors Steelwork contractor: William Hare Area: 64,140sq m Cost: £200m Year completion: 2014