Rafael Viñoly’s “Walkie Talkie” named UK’s ugliest building

London’s "Walkie Talkie" (pictured) has won Building Design’s 2015 Carbuncle Cup, a prize awarded to "the ugliest building in the UK completed in the past 12 months".

The building, which is formally known as 20 Fenchurch Street, was designed by Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly for developer Land Securities.

It has faced multiple problems since completion, most notably the tendency for its south-facing facade to concentrate the sun’s rays and melt cars.

There have also been complaints about high winds at the building’s base, prompting the City of London to demand independent verification of wind assessments on a number of later schemes.

English Heritage and Unesco have objected to the Walkie Talkie due to its impact on London skyline.

The other five buildings in the shortlist were:

  • Parliament House in Lambeth by Keith Williams Architects
  • City Gateway in Swaythling, Southampton, by Fluid Design
  • YMCA, Waltham Forest, by Robert Kilgour Architects
  • Woodward Hall, north Acton, by Careyjones Chapmantolcher
  • Whittle building, Peterhouse, Cambridge University, by John Simpson Architects.

The judging panel featured Building Design editor Thomas Lane, architecture critic Ike Ijeh, writer Gillian Darley and architectural designer Eleanor Jolliffe.

The judges’ decision to award the Carbuncle Cup to the Walkie Talkie was unanimous.

Previous "winners" of the prize has been Liverpool’s Ferry Terminal, MediaCity in Salford and Woolwich Central in London.

Image: London’s Walkie Talkie (Diego Delso/Wikimedia Commons)

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  1. This insane and infamous architectural global trend to make high rise buildings look like some or other form of a giant hideous looking ornament or sculpture needs to be stopped by giving the local plan approval authorities the powers to veto any such proposed structures both in the interests of the neighbouring
    property owners and that of the general rate-paying public of the city so threatened!!!

  2. I totally disagree – when you stand at the base of the building and look up it is awesome and breath-taking. It’s a building with a presence I think the number of visitors it attracts speaks volumes about how others are drawn to it. Having stared out at London from its 36th floor, you would be hard pressed to find a more impressive view and having enjoyed eating at one of its restaurants and spending a lovely afternoon/evening wondering around the Sky Garden, I think the building is special both inside and out.

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