The Walkie Talkie`s curved walkways

Londoners just love to get high. So much so that if you don’t want to wait until then to see the vistas from Fenchurch Street — and what is being billed London’s newest public park — then your best bet is to do what we did and make a reservation at one of the Sky Garden’s three restaurants.

A Sky Garden in the 35th floor

When you enter the Walkie Talkie, the building`s nickname due to its top-heavy form, be prepared for airport-style security before a lift whizzes you up to the 35th floor. A large viewing deck, bar, restaurants and Sky Garden are included on the top three floors. The building opened the doors to its crowning glory - spectacular views of the city amid a stunning park in the sky.

At this dizzying 160 m tall, London’s distinctive Walkie Talkie building required an exceptional roofing solution. Fenland Flat Roofing and Sika Sarnafil single ply were up to the challenge. Designed by architect Rafael Viñoly and costing over £200 million, 20 Fenchurch Street is a commercial skyscraper in central London.

Lightweight walkable roof

Awarded the project in February 2014, a lightweight walkable roof area for the access walkways was required and perimeter edges of the glazed roof to the garden and restaurant. The roofing product had to be carefully selected as it needed to curve in two directions due to the unique design of the building.

Sarnafil G410-12EL single ply provided the perfect solution to this design criteria, thanks to its excellent flexibility and weldability, while offering outstanding resistance to weathering, including permanent UV irradiation. This was installed in Lead Grey to the BMU Track and covered with SarnaTred walkway tiles, allowing durable and slip resistant access for maintenance workers – a vital safety consideration.

High performance waterproofing membrane

The second part of the project was to provide a flexible high performance waterproofing membrane to the bespoke Shoulder areas in white, to match in with the steelwork structure color. The Walkie Talkie project stands out due to its sheer size and height, creating challenging access issues. As there was no scaffold available, the Fenland team had to work off harnesses and safety lines on a leading edge and had to traverse the glass roof of the building to access the work area. All tools and equipment had to be properly secured at all times.

One of London’s most sustainable buildings

To maintain the most stringent health and safety standards required diligence and planning, rewarding workers with stunning views across London. High skill levels were required to overcome the various tricky details on the roof and the team had to interface with multiple trades. Internally the Walkie-Talkie provides a mixture of 13,000sq ft of retail space and 680,000sq ft of top quality offices with panoramic views of London. It has been awarded a BREEAM excellence rating together with being named one of London’s most sustainable buildings.

Non-slip and long-life over the skyline

But how`s it hanging up there as a worker? Fearless construction workers were spotted and they know they are safe. It is not only because of their safety harnesses and the helmet but also the walkway tiles there were installing cover these security aspects like non-slip and long-life: and these facts they not only know but feel on sight working while looking over London`s skyline. In the future other workers will use this track for maintenance work.

And is there another way to get into the building than queuing? Short of climbing? Well, maybe. We asked the reservation teams while we were there and apparently if you try your luck after 6pm on weekdays you’re reasonably likely to be able to get up there for a drink. Good luck!

A Tree is hoisted to the top of the Walkie Talkie

See the Sky Garden

Go to Sika UK