The Walkie Talkie Skyscraper Wins UK's Worst Building Award

By James O Malley on at

20 Fenchurch Street, the building perhaps better known as the Walkie Talkie has been named the UK's worst building by a panel of judges, winning this year's Carbuncle Cup.

The 37 storey tower is perhaps best known for its unusual shape, which during construction was discovered to have the unintended side effect that it would reflect and concentrate the sun's rays to the point where it could melt cars.

According to the BBC Thomas Lane, who runs the award, said that the building "crashes into London's skyline like an unwelcome party guest". He also added 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."

The building does have one redeeming feature in this writer's opinion though: There's a free, publicly accessible viewing area at the top of the building.

The prize has been awarded every year since 2006 and previous 'winners' include the Strata tower at London's Elephant & Castle roundabout and Salford's MediaCity UK. Other buildings on this year's shortlist included the YMCA building in Cambridge and the faux-gothic Whittle building at Cambridge University, which one judge described as looking like it was "borrowed from a major housebuilder's style book". We presume this a major burn in architecture circles. [BBC]