20 Fenchurch Street is best known for the Walkie Talkie Tower. The race for a new shape in high rise tower has started since the Fosters marvel, 30 St Mary Axe. Ever since, each new skyscrapper has been designed to add a new shape to the skyline of London. And each new tower since then has been given a name for its distinctive shape.
The 'Walkie Talkie' tower is designed by architect, Rafael Viñoly. The facade is a unitized system having different configuration at each elevation. Double skin on the south facade is to reduce heat gain and achieve performance criteria. The external shading fins on the East and West facade also give structural support to curtain wall. The fins seems that they have changed from what previously designed to be with louvers. Now they are seen to be opaque as constructed. The visually dominant fins give the illusion of the facade being double curved and the vertical lines diverge towards the South. Although the glazing system panels installed are in vertical positions and faceted at each floor height.
Despite the distorted reflections of the glass seen from below due to the bending of the glazing units to form the curvature, the curved facade looks good in the sky line. The roof garden is still to be completed with its louvers joining the facade elevation on the sides making the form coherent from each angle. Once finished, the five side visually continuous envelope will be seen from the sky scrappers around it and also from inside the sky roof garden for free.