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London's Walkie Talkie Skyscraper Judged The UK's Worst Building

If being the world’s bulkiest and loneliest walkie talkie wasn’t bad enough, the now infamous 37-story skyscraper standing at 20 Fenchurch Street, London has officially been announced as the UK’s worst building by judges of the annual Carbuncle Cup.

Not that it’s the first time it’s made headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Juddering over the shopping basket that is the City Of London Skyline alongside The Gherkin (St Mary’s Axe) and The Cheese Grater (Leadenhall building), The Walkie Talkie, designed by Uruguayan architect Rafael Vinoly, came in for a heap of criticism well before opening in April of last year.

Firstly, it melted cars – actual cars - after sunlight reflecting off its glass exterior was found to have inadvertently resoldered parts of a Jaguar. Secondly, passers-by complained of being pushed by extreme gusts caused by a wind tunnel effect created by the shape of the building’s base.

Aside from inflicting physical torture, from a design perspective, it didn't fare much better as industry experts lined up to scoff at its three-story garden roof and general gawkiness as it steadily arose from the construction site below.

Thomas Lane, editor of Building Design magazine and leader of the Carbuncle awards, gave a fittingly sci-fi putdown for the space-age looking winner, saying it "crashes into London's skyline like an unwelcome party guest".

Sticking the boot in some more, he added: "It bulges out towards the top in a cynical move to maximise the amount of high-value space at the upper levels, in defiance of the principle tall buildings should taper elegantly inwards or at least feature parallel sides. The result is Londoners now have to suffer views of this bloated carbuncle."

Other London-based buildings shortlisted as the UK’s worst include Woodward Hall in North Acton, the YMCA Building in Waltham Forest, while aesthetically displeasing structures outside the capital included the Cambridge University’s Whittle Building and City Gateway in Southampton. But there was only one winner.

What do you think? Is it an eyesore? Or merely misunderstood? Let us know below.


[Via: The Guardian]



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