Should Britain’s ‘worst building’ be demolished?

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Should Britain’s ‘worst building’ be demolished?
he Walkie Talkie: 'The most risible of the plague of big, bad buildings eating up the capital's sky.'
Should Britain’s ‘worst building’ be demolished?
he Walkie Talkie: ‘The most risible of the plague of big, bad buildings eating up the capital’s sky.’

There are two terrible differences between architecture and other art forms – permanence and prominence. No one is making us read books we don’t like and even the lousiest art exhibition soon ends, but the ludicrous warped ostentation of the Walkie Talkie is not going anywhere, no matter how many prizes for bad architecture it wins, nor can anyone in or near the City of London avoid its manic parody of modernity.

It’s time to reject this fatalistic sense that grandiose design mistakes are irreversible – that we just have to put up with them. I seriously think this building should be done away with. The reason is not just that it is silly in itself, bulging on the skyline like a model that has somehow wandered out of the 1960s TV show Thunderbirds, but even more urgently to shock developers into some sense of humility. For the Walkie Talkie, let’s face it, is just the most risible of the plague of big, bad buildings eating up the capital’s sky.

London is being wrecked by outrageous crimes against architectural taste. Walking around the City, it really seems there is a competition to put up the most cynically flashy, vacuously ahistorical and insensitive eyesores. A corporate dystopia is being built before our eyes. This rush towards a chilly fake avant garde future seems unstoppable. What can anyone do, apart from moan or award the Carbuncle Cup? This is what we can do: demolish this deranged building to create a firebreak that ends the inferno of towers. []

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