The Walkie Talkie skyscraper in London, UK, designed by Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly, is now the proud owner of a new sky garden. Conceived as a public park perched atop the 160-meter tower, the garden was designed by Viñoly and Gillespies Landscape Architects to resemble a mountain slope.
Three terraces are planted with various species, including African Lilies, Red Hot Pokers, and Birds of Paradise, and resemble lush forests. These terraces are surrounded by bars and restaurants that serve traditional British food and seafood, while the Sky Pod Bar is located on the bottom level and is naturally ventilated.
A dedicated entrance on Philpot Lane leads visitors through airport-style security to the lifts. Guardian critic Oliver Wainwright criticized the project saying, “It is not the public park that was promised, but another private party space, available by appointment.”
The tower hit the headlines in 2013 when it was reported that its glass façade was reflecting enough light to melt cars that were parked in its vicinity. Fortunately, this problem was tackled by installing a series of vertical fins onto the façade to deflect the light.
Photos by Edmund Sumner