It’s that time of year again: architectural critics around the country have been holding their breath for the announcement of this year’s Carbuncle Cup winner. The award is given to the new(ish) building or project voted the worst by a panel of judges selected by Building Design magazine, including architects and architectural critics.
Today, it was announced that this year’s wooden spoon goes to 20 Fenchurch Street, also (un)affectionately known as the “Walkie Talkie”.
Its triumph comes as no surprise: besides being, in our opinion, very ugly, it also managed to literally melt parts of vehicles parked below it, thanks to the reflection when the sun shines directly onto the building (a permanent awning has since been installed to curb the glare). Oh, and the design has also created a wind tunnel around the base of the building.
In summary, as Thomas Lane, chairman of the judging panel, said: “It is a challenge finding anyone who has something positive to say about this building.” It was designed by Uraguayan architect Rafael Viñoly, and is actually a scaled down version of original designs which were changed so as not to block views of St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London.