London's Walkie Talkie building, 20 Fenchurch Street in the City, has been crowned the UK's ugliest building in the annual Carbuncle Cup.

The building was nominated to judges from Buildings and Design magazine a record number of times, and their decision to award the Carbuncle Cup to the Walkie Talkie was unanimous.

Judge Ike Ijeh said the building was a “gratuitous glass gargoyle graffitied onto the skyline of London” while architectural designer Eleanor Joliffe said the Walkie Talkie was like a “Bond villain tower, as it could melt your car with a solar beam from space." Readers said:

I now have a new personal goal: to live long enough to see this building demolished.


This building almost makes one yearn for the good old days of the Second World War, when there was a good chance that one might emerge from the shelter to find buildings gone.


Launched in 2006, previous winners of the Carbuncle include the Liverpool Ferry Terminal, Salford's MediaCityUK and the renovation of the Cutty Sark in London.

The magazine said the negative feelings about the building were reflected by many readers, with some saying "there was no point in continuing to run new nominations as the Walkie Talkie was bound to win."

Readers' comments were also taken into account during the judging process. The longlist was boiled down to a shortlist of six - four of which are in London: the Walkie Talkie; Parliament House in Lambeth by Keith Williams Architects; City Gateway, Swaythling, Southampton, by Fluid Design; YMCA, Waltham Forest, by Robert Kilgour Architects; Woodward Hall, North Acton, by Careyjones Chapmantolcher; and the Whittle building, Peterhouse, Cambridge University, by John Simpson Architects.

Take a closer look at the other nominees in London:

Woodward Hall, North Acton

Local resident Jonathan Notley hates Woodward Hall so much he stood for Parliament campaigning against it. It is now student accomodation for Imperial College and some residential flats. Some of the comments on the Buildings and Design website:

Pity the poor students who will have to inhabit this monstrosity in a noisy and highly polluted environment, devoid of any outdoor space (unless you count the cemetery next door).


I am sure that there will be a street party in 2040 when the whole complex is dynamited.


Waltham Forest YMCA

Waltham Forest YMCA. Credit: Building and Design magazine

Critics say Waltham Forest's YMCA looks more like a detention centre - and does not fit in with the buildings nearby. Buildings and Design readers said:

It's not just the façade that's depressing and so lacking in effort, the street too is stripped down to a bare equally depressing minimum.


Parliament House, Lambeth

Parliament House on Black Prince Road - the tall white building. Credit: Elizabeth Hopkirk/Building and Design magazine.

This block of flats in Black Prince Road has been criticised for not taking its surroundings into consideration at all. It towers over two listed buildings and has been likened to a barcode.

More: Shortlist of ugliest buildings in the capital released