In January of 2016, a year and a half ago now, a friend and I checked out the top of the Walkie Talkie, and we liked it a lot.
I, of course, photoed photoers, of whom there were, equally of course, an abundance. And although at the time I collected the best photoer photos together into their own little subdirectory, I never got around to putting the selected photos up here. But I chanced upon them last night, and I think they deserve the oxygen of publicity. So, here they are:
As the years have gone by, I have come to like photoing photoers as much for the places they photo in and the things they photo as for the photoers themselves. From the above photos you get quite a good idea of what the top of the Walkie Talkie is like and what you can see from it. The weather that day was rather dull, so the actual views I took were rather humdrum. These photoer photos were better, I think.
The Walkie Talkie Sky Garden advertises itself as a sky garden, but it is more like an airport lounge with plants, that has itself taken to the air. Getting access to it is like boarding an airplane, with luggage inspection and a magnetic doorway you have to walk through. In this respect, as well as the splendour of the views, the Walkie Talkie resembles the Shard, which imposes very similar arrangements on all who wish to sample its views. But sky garden or not, I liked it.
One of the many things I like about the Walkie Talkie is that its very shape reflects the importance attached by its designer(s?) to making a nice big space at the top for mere people to visit and gaze out of. As well as, of course, creating lots of office space, just below the top but still way up in the sky, for office drones to enjoy the views from. Their work may often be drudgery, but at least they get an abundance of visual diversion.
In its own way, the Walkie Talkie is as much an expression of the economic significance of views as those thin New York apartment skyscrapers are. The difference being that in a big office you don’t have to be based right next to a window to be able, from time to time, to stroll over to a window. So, as the building gets taller and the views get more dramatic, it makes sense to fit more people in. Hence the shape of the Walkie Talkie.
If one of the jobs of a Walkie Talkie drone happens to be to try to entice clients to come to the Walkie Talkie, to have stuff sold to them, well, those views might make all the difference.
Note that Rafael Vinoly designed the Walkie Talkie, and designed the first of those tall and thin New York apartments. These two apparently very different buildings have in common that both of them look as they do partly because of the views they both offer.
I also like the Walkie Talkie because so many prim-and-proper architect type people dislike it.