Is this Britain's ugliest building?

London’s ‘Walkie Talkie’ takes the crown in the annual architecture awards

London's ‘Walkie Talkie' building in the heart of the City has been crowned Britain's Ugliest Building.

The unusually shaped beauty that sits proudly in the Square Mile of the capital takes the winner's crown in this year's Carbuncle Cup, run by Building Design Magazine.

Number 20, Fenchurch Street fought off stiff competition from other ugly ducklings around the country, including Woodward Hall in North Acton, City Gateway in Southampton, the Waltham Forest YMCA building, London and the Whittle Building at the University of Cambridge - all of which were runners up in the annual contest.

walkie talkie building in london

(Image credit: TBC)

The giant office block - which is home to the viewing 'Sky Garden' - was nicknamed the Walkie Scorchie in 2013 after strong reflections from the building melted cars parked nearby (some office workers also took the opportunity to fry eggs on the burning pavement - the summer of dreams!).

The Walkie Talkie was crowned the winner by a panel of judges from the magazine - and, just to add insult to injury, the decision to award the Carbuncle Cup to the building was unanimous.

The longlist of 10 buildings was boiled down to a shortlist of six:
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.

Speaking to the magazine about the results, judge Ike Ijeh said the Walkie Talkie was 'a gratuitous glass gargoyle graffitied onto the skyline of London,' while Eleanor Jolliffe described it as a 'Bond villain tower, as it could melt your car with a solar beam from space'.

Wow, those judges have GOT to learn how to form an opinion!

Harsh, but fair? Let us know if you agree...


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.