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Rafael Viñoly Talk, London

Talk at Southwark Cathedral, England, on 20 Fenchurch & Battersea Power Station Projects

1 Jun 2010

Rafael Viñoly : Two London Projects

Architect to Speak at Southwark Cathedral on June 24, 2010

LONDON – Architect Rafael Viñoly will speak at Southwark Cathedral on Thursday, June 24, as he presents Two London Projects as part of the London Festival of Architecture. The talk will detail two of his firm’s latest London projects: Battersea Power Station and 20 Fenchurch Street aka “The Walkie Talkie”, as well as offer insights from a lifelong career in architecture that has shaped cities around the globe. The lecture begins at 7 PM, with doors opening at 6:30 PM. The event is free of charge. E-Tickets are available by contacting [email protected].

Walkie Talkie building
20 Fenchurch St
image from architect

For 20 Fenchurch Street, or the “Walkie Talkie”, Viñoly has put forth a dynamic plan for a new, 37-story tower that breaks with the perceived boundaries of common architectural expression. The design contributes to the evolution of the high-rise building type, while still respecting the city’s historic character with inspiration from the contour of the river and medieval streets that bind the site.

20 Fenchurch’s unique aesthetic comes together for reasons both lucid and logical: the floor plates widen at the top of the building instead of the bottom, adding incremental public space at ground level, providing extra leasable floor area on the valuable upper stories, and generating a large public Skygarden at the pinnacle of the building – London’s first publicly accessible skyscraper observation deck.

From the outside, the building 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 building, and opening views through the site to contribute meaningfully to the immediate public realm. The skyscraper will provide a new home for developer Land Securities.

“It is with great delight that we learned that Rafael Viñoly accepted my invitation to speak at Southwark. Cathedrals are the litmus paper to great and grand designs and architectural students of the past and present spend many hours inside them sketching and painting – so our links are obvious. To welcome the man who will perhaps do a ‘Tate Modern’ on Battersea Power Station is a privilege indeed,” said the Dean of Southwark, the Very Reverend Colin Slee.

Battersea Power Station Redevelopment
Battersea Power Station
image from architect

The Two London Projects that Viñoly will be discussing are poised to make a tremendous architectural footprint on the nation’s capital. The first, a masterplan for the Battersea Power Station, aims to create a mixed-used sustainable development offering commercial and retail functions, as well as residential, cultural and event spaces interspersed with community facilities and a zero-carbon energy plant that adaptively reuses the power station itself.

The iconic historic structure of the Power Station functions as the focal point of the site’s regeneration, which aims to create a self-sufficient and vibrant new community serving as the anchor of the Vauxhall/Nine Elms/ Battersea Opportunity Area. The visual presence of the Station’s Chimney, a near-transparent marker on the skyline, defines a new opportunity area signaling London’s commitment to innovation and sustainability. Rafael Viñoly Architects’ master plan also incorporates an underground station at Battersea designed by a Halcrow led team, with station architecture by Studiodare and Buro Happold.

Rafael Vinoly Architects, NYC, USA

Location: Southwark Cathedral, London, England, UK

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Curve Leicester
photo : Peter Cook/View
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