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ANDREW WALLACE ARCHITECTS
+ INTERIOR DESIGNERS

The Carbuncle Cup Goes To… The Walkie Talkie


Warrington architects will no doubt be interested to learn that this year’s Carbuncle Cup Award goes to the Walkie Talkie, a skyscraper in the City of London that has had rather a chequered history since it was completed in April last year.

The 37-storey office block came under fire in 2013 for melting rather expensive cars on the streets below by reflecting light during the summer.

According to the BBC, Jaguar driver Martin Lindsay returned to his car after a two-hour absence to find that the badge and wing mirror had melted.

And at the start of this year, the roof garden at the top of the building – the highest to be found in the capital – was panned by critics who said it doesn’t constitute a proper public space, with the Guardian’s Oliver Wainwright describing it as “being in an airport terminal”.

Organiser of the Carbuncle Cup Thomas Lane said that the skyscraper “crashes into London’s skyline like an unwelcome party guest”.

The editor of Building Design magazine said it’s difficult to find someone in London who has anything nice to say about the Walkie Talkie – or 20 Fenchurch Street as it’s officially known – at all.

Other contenders in this year’s Cup included Woodward Hall in north-west London, Southampton City Gateway, Parliament House, some student halls in Cambridge and a YMCA building.

Previous winners of the wooden spoon award include Liverpool’s ferry terminal, the Strata Tower in Elephant and Castle, the Cutty Sark renovation and flats above a Tesco shop in Woolwich.

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