2016 update: Whilst the Walkie-Talkie was awarded the Carbuncle Cup last year for being the worst building in Britain, it appears there could be far worse to come on the horizon – how about a skyscraper that looks like a tin of processed meat, for example? Originally approved back in 2008, work soon stalled on this bizarre tower as it happened to coincide with the UK financial crisis. However, work is now reportedly back on track and the 105m, 24-storey building is due for completion in Summer 2018. The architectural version of spam, perhaps?
20 Fenchurch Street, a commercial skyscraper in London designed by Uruguayan architect Rafael Vinoly, has been awarded the annual Carbuncle Cup for being the worst example of architecture in the UK.
Nicknamed the Walkie-Talkie because of its distinctive bellowing shape, critics have long since argued that tall buildings should taper inwards elegantly rather than bulge out in order to not litter the skyline.
The shape isn’t the only gaffe made by designers with the Walkie-Talkie; since construction began in 2009 the building has been mired in controversy. First it inflicted solar glare problems on the people of London, burned holes in cars and bicycles parked below its looming stature. Then it became apparent that the placement of the building caused a dangerous wind tunnelling effect that actually blew passing pedestrians off their feet. Then there was the anticlimactic opening of a “sky garden,” which was criticised since opening for the tight restrictions and advance booking requirements placed on the visiting public, and for failing to meet pre-construction expectations of the extent and quality of the “garden.”
Editor of Building Design Magazine (who run the awards), Thomas Lane, said the carbuncle “crashes into London’s skyline like an unwelcome party guest.”
Thomas described the tower in a cutting and succinct manner, saying that “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.”
Here’s what the people of twitter have to say about this year’s winner:
— Grr Aargh (@GrrAargh) September 2, 2015
— Liz Anderson (@liz_lizanderson) September 2, 2015
— Emily (@emilywren) September 2, 2015
#walkietalkie is definitely the ugliest building in the UK. I always thought it should be called the ‘sore thumb’
— Justin Bebier Oddy (@justin_bebier) September 2, 2015
To see other buildings shortlisted for the Carbuncle Cup, please Click here to visit the site.