The Walkie-Talkie tower (officially the ‘Fenchurch Building’) has faced a lot of criticism since its debut to the public in January 2015. It won the Carbuncle Cup, for the ugliest building of the year (ouch), was dubbed the ‘fry-scrapper’ for focusing sunrays that melted cars, and extensively derided for being such an eyesore. Its one saving grace? The free Sky Garden.
Promoted as ‘London’s Highest Public Garden’, and including a posh restaurant, the Sky Garden is one of the reasons that the skyscraper finally got approved by the City of London Planning Committee. However, it seems like The Walkie-Talkie will soon have some competition, as plans have been announced for an enormous new building, named 55 Bishopsgate. Developer Funder Schroders plans for the new skyscraper to be 285 meters tall, joining The Shard as one of the tallest buildings in London. Oh yeah, and it’ll also have… its own sky garden. Uh-oh.
Funder Schroders wants 55 Bishopsgate to be the UK’s first ‘all-electric building’. Sounds very green. Reports claim it’ll be ‘a structure found in nature’, featuring automatic blinds that respond to light to save energy. The architects, Arney Fender Katsalidis, claim the building is based on the Fibonacci sequence, a mathematical pattern found in nature, present in things like pinecones and seashells. Unlike the Walkie-Talkie, which came under attack for not even remotely fitting into its surroundings, 55 Bishopsgate will apparently blend in to its environment. Not sure how looking like a pinecone will achieve this, but it definitely sounds interesting.
Let the battle of the sky gardens commence!
ICYMI: Barbican Conservatory