"Located on the 35th floor of the controversial 20 Fenchurch tower (the Walkie Talkie 20Fenchurch Street) by Rafael Viñoly Architects, the Sky Garden is part of the Section 106 Contributions made by developers Land Securities and Canary Wharf Group.
It is a public garden suspended over the skyline of London; a vantage point from which one can enjoy the views of the ever changing city.
Modeled in the glass architectures of the ninetieth century (in its conception at least), the final result offers a wonderful 360 degree view as a series of picture frames.
If it is true that the view from the Shard is spectacular, the view of the Shard has nothing to envy. In fact, there are some advantages worthy of consideration before anyone listens to the critics :
1. The view of South London, gives you a less cluttered sense of horizon. As the city continues to grow, this is a rare occurrence and one we welcome.
2. It is free and accessible to all (The view from the Shard requires a £25 per person ticket to be purchased).
Architecture has the potential to enhance experiences and this project offers everyone a chance to enjoy a new perspective that it is too often limited to the few. All you have to do is book!
3. You can feel the air and have a sense of your position as the balcony is not completely sealed off.
4. The planting enhances the experince by creating a microclimate that is rather pleasant and evocative.
Landscape architects Gilles Pies have done a very good job with the planting and created interest as well as structure.
Finally, at the Sky Garden, you can sit down and have a refreshment whilst enjoying the view for the same price you would pay in the local (London) pub.
As an overall experience, and despite the many criticisms that the professional community has made, we had a great time. It is easy to focus on the many elements that could have worked better but sometimes we should make the same effort in remembering to focus in those that are already work.
Find out more about the project on my Mimoa profile (here)"