Vinoly’s Walkie-Talkie skyscraper favourite for ugly architecture award


Rafael Vinoly’s controversial Walkie –Talkie skyscraper is front runner in the race to find Britain’s ugliest new building after topping a shortlist for the annual Carbuncle Cup.

The City skyscraper, officially known as 20 Fenchurch Street, received the most nominations out of six buildings on the short list.

The award is by Building Design magazine, which said the Walkie-Talkie received the most votes and also generated the most online debate, with one person commenting: “I now have a new personal goal: to live long enough to see this building demolished.”


It was described as a “ghastly eyesore” by another poster while one claimed the other nominees “might as well go home now”.

Student halls complex Woodward Hall in North Acton also made the list, along with Parliament House, a 23-storey residential block close to the River Thames in Lambeth, and a boxy extension to the Waltham Forest YMCA, opposite Walthamstow Town Hall, decorated in two tones of grey.

Others were the Whittle Building student accommodation at the University of Cambridge and Southampton University’s new residential building.

Announcing the list, Building Design said: “Sadly mediocre architecture is rife in our towns and cities with too many new buildings blighting rather than improving the built environment.

“These buildings suffer from a number of failings including blank, faceless facades, cheap shouty cladding, bad proportions and ill-conceived design ‘features’.

“Frequently examples of gross overdevelopment, rather than mitigating their impact, too many of these buildings stick two fingers up to their context.”

The winner will be announced later this week.

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