Is it ever right to knock a building down?

There has been great jubilation and amusement since Building Design chose the Walkie Talkie as the winner of its annual Carbuncle Cup.

There has been great jubilation and amusement since Building Design chose the Walkie Talkie as the winner of its annual Carbuncle Cup. The online magazine is always good at getting publicity for this jamboree, but has done better than ever this year, mainly because its target is so well known and was already being ridiculed. This after all is the ‘Walkie Scorchie’ and few have a good word to say about it.

But Jonathan Jones, writing in the Guardian at the weekend, was certainly over the top when he suggested it should be demolished. Should it ever have been built? Probably not. But demolition does not just involve noise and disruption and thowing money away. It also means the throwing away of a great deal of embodied energy, doing one of the least environmentally friendly things possible. The Walkie Talkie is a massive building, and the energy tied up in it will be correspondingly generous.

Its detractors may not learn to love it, but they definitely should learn to live with it.

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