What we all already knew has been confirmed. Can we burn it down now?
Have you ever been to the Walkie Talkie? I have, and let me tell you, it is a wholly weird thing.
I visited on a weekend, when by its nature, the City is mostly empty. Walking through the deserted streets you can easily feel like a lone survivor after a nuclear holocaust.
The Walkie Talkie swells above you, like an overblown inflatable, engorged at the top, slimmer at the bottom, and throwing the already gloomy streets into even greater shadow.
Not even London’s ubiquitous Pret A Manger shops bother to open in the City over the weekend.
Nonetheless, the Walkie Talkie “sky garden” is open to the public, and it is free to visit, you just need to book in advance. Perhaps it will be a beacon of life in the dead zone.
But at the top, it’s pretty bleak. The construction is cold glass and metal. The bar sells ordinary lager at £6, there are a few plants and palm trees scattered about, and in the middle, a suspended glass cube contains The Fenchurch Seafood Bar and Grill.
Why seafood? Why is it contained in a separate box within a building? Who knows? It makes no sense.
The soul-sucking smoothness of the whole interior would make a decent second home for Dementors perhaps.
But my faith in our species has been somewhat restored after today’s announcement from Building Design magazine that the horror of the Walkie Talkie has been officially recognised with its win of the annual Carbuncle Cup – the architecture award bestowed upon Britain’s worst building.
One judge, Ike Ijeh, the architecture critic for Building Design, said the Walkie Talkie was “a gratuitous glass gargoyle graffitied onto the skyline of London”.
Who can disagree with that?
Let us not forget about the other problems the Walkie Talkie has had. The swollen tower made headlines soon after completion when its concave façade concentrated sunlight into a “death ray”, and began melting cars on the streets below.
This violence in good weather means that the building is now forced to wear a permanent sunshade across its front.
An investigation is also underway into the effect the tower is having on wind in the area. Lots more wind has been reported, and local businesses blame the Walkie Talkie.
Perhaps now that it has won the award for stupidest building we can fix a mirror up in front of it and using the death ray it can self-immolate and relieve London of its hideousness.
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