Brutal architecture

As if brutalist architecture weren’t enough, now we have architecture that’s literally brutal:

The controversial Walkie Talkie tower in the City of London has commanded a record-breaking price for a single building in the UK – £1.3bn in a sale to a Hong Kong manufacturer of oyster sauce. […]

Designed by New York-based Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly, the Walkie Talkie made headlines in 2013 before it had even opened, when its concave glass facade was found to channel the sun into a scorching beam of heat on to the street below. Repeating exactly the same mistake he made with his similarly concave Vdara hotel in Las Vegas, Viñoly’s “death ray” succeeded in melting the bumper of a Jaguar, blistering painted shopfronts and singeing carpets, with temperatures proving hot enough to fry an egg on the pavement. Nor was it much safer when the sun went in: the tower’s glacial cliff-face was accused of channelling winds so strong that pedestrians were in danger of being blown into the road.

And some gentle mockery from another article:

The incidents earned the building new nicknames, including the Walkie Scorchie and Fryscraper, and the builders were forced to apply sun shading to resolve the issue. […]

But its bulbous shape, which looms over nearby buildings, is not universally appreciated. In 2015 it won the Carbuncle Cup, an annual award for the ugliest building of the year presented by architecture magazine Building Design. One judge called it “a gratuitous glass gargoyle graffitied on to the skyline of London”, while another described it as a “Bond villain tower”.



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