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Viñoly's 'Walkie Talkie' skyscraper set to shrink

Rafael Viñoly will have to reduce the height of his planned 45-storey central London skyscraper, dubbed the Walkie Talkie, because of its potential impact on key views across the capital.

Next week the City of London's chief planning officer will tell the Uruguayan architect to revise plans for the unusual new tower at Fenchurch Street.

The authority is worried that the 192 metre-tall building, close to the Tower of London, would block important sightlines towards St Paul's Cathedral.

In a statement to the City's planning and transportation committee - which is due to consider the planner's initial report into the 85,000m 2scheme next Tuesday (18 July) - the current proposals were branded 'unacceptable' and 'damaging- to views of St Paul's in breach of unitary development planning policy.'

The report goes on: 'The applicant is minded to revise the planning application to reduce the height of the building to remove this harmful impact.'

It concludes: 'The members' views are sought as to whether, if this impact were removed, they feel that a building of this same general character should be worked up-'

Neither Viñoly nor developer Land Securities, which described the scheme as 'inverting the traditional deployment of the building volume' when it was officially unveiled in March ( Viñoly reveals designs on the City), were willing to comment.

by Richard Waite

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