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Sky Garden, Walkie Talkie, London

The Walkie Talkie, one of the tallest buildings in the UK, is impressive; so what better than an impressive sky garden on the top with a more than impressive view of London? That is exactly what has happened, despite the project being billed as a loss leader, the building itself is all set to become the second skyscraper in history (behind the Gherkin) to make money! 

What’s happening?

A spectacular viewing platform essentially, the 3000 metre glazed space is offering free of charge access to the public to enjoy the views of London. The building is 160m; only half the height of the Shard, but it is a prominent and noticeable attraction in the skyline. The gardens will be created by the landscape designers responsible for the Olympic Parks, and will be under a glass roof for a greenhouse effect. 

Why is it happening?

The Sky Garden has been developed for two reasons. Firstly, it is free public space in London, resulting from a trade off with the city to allow the building to be larger at the top than the bottom to add more space for revenue generation. The second reason is to increase profitability within the building itself as office space needs to be rented and generating a good level of returns. 

What to expect

A website determines a first come first served registration basis for the 400 people limit in the garden. The public need to promise to turn up at an allocated time to make sure the free of charge system works. Once there, you can expect exceptional gardens whilst having a drink and taking in the vista of London. 

What TDS did

TDS Midlands supplied drawings for the balustrade that runs up the outside of the stairs, linking the top floors.  Made from stainless steel and incorporating several hundred lights, the balustrade follows the natural curve of the building and stairs.  First fix brackets were fitted beneath the final stone finishes to hide all fixings and ensure waterproofing could be applied. After the final finishes were fitted the balustrade could be installed over the first fix stubs and the associated wiring for the lighting routed internally through the posts and handrails.




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"we have found your detailing and draughting service for architectural stairs, balustrades, handrails, platforms and secondary steelwork to be of the highest quality, and performed within an accurate and professional management system"
Martin Gibbs – Managing Director - Gibbs Engineering

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