BBC's 'Worst London Building' Poll

By Rob Last edited 142 months ago
BBC's 'Worst London Building' Poll
Ahead of Architecture Week the Beeb have compiled a shortlist of the public's most hated London buildings, and it's a slightly surprising list:
  • The pre-fabricated, pre-cast concrete Centrepoint

  • The tower at Colliers Wood

  • The Swiss Re headquarters - better known as the Gherkin

  • The arts complex on the river at the Southbank Centre

  • The Tower Hotel by Tower Bridge

The Gherkin? We never realised there was such a tide of discontent against, what we think, is a fantastic addition to the capital's skyline. Indeed when we launched Londonist we got loads of email telling us off for not including it in our logo!

Centrepoint has always been a little more devisive, and there are certain members of the Londonist staff who would tear it down in an instant...but from that list we'd have to go for the Tower Hotel (pictured) every time.

Let us know what you'll be voting for, and what you'd add to the list, in the comments.

Last Updated 12 June 2006

kevin Bracken

The Swiss Re headquarters?!!?!?!?

I love that building! I just visited London for the second time the other day and it was easily one of my favourite!


The Tower for me definitely. I was on a river boat last Friday and sitting at St Katherines' Dock gave me an extended view of the Tower's ugliness.


the gherkin is the best addition to the london skyline in ages!


Barbican Centre anyone?


Barbican Centre anyone?


centrepoint? the gherkin - who bloomin compiled the poll ? are they mad, or just stupid, or prince charles?


The Tower is easily the worst out of this lot.

Some of the other choices are bizarre - I thought everyone liked the Gherkin.

And I know that the Southbank and Centrepoint have their detractors, and can look a little grey in the winter - but at this time of year, when the sky is blue and it's sunny, they both really come into their own.

I'd nominate MI6 in Vauxhall, or the flats on the other side of the road in Vauxhall on the riverfront: Hideous, both of them.

Neil Evans

To be honest when I saw the poll the other night on BBC LDN I wasn't surprised, the Hayward always gets a kicking as does Centrepoint, I was a little miffed at the Gherkin was even included, but then, I suppose there are always a few that think we should be building our buildings no higher than two stories and out of wattle and daub.

The tower hotel is just a shit building though, it's cheap and was ill-conceived, regardless of whether you like the Hayward, Centrepoint or the Gherkin you have to marvel at their technology and vision, for instance Centrepoint has no wet fixings, the units simply bolted together...


Come on the Gherkin was included for publicity, you need some sort of a debate and simply listing obvious ones everyone hates doesn't cut it for the BBC PR people...

Fi Craig

I agree, the Tower Hotel is a vile pile and should be demolished forthwith. I also agree that the Gherkin does not deserve to be on the list - I've never been inside it but from a distance I think it's gorgeous. I see it in the distance every time I walk up my local high street (the main drag in Surrey Quays); the different coloured glass panels and the soft, rounded, dildo-like shape are very attractive.

Who decides what goes on these surveys anyway?


Centrepoint has no wet fixings, the units simply bolted together...

Should be a doddle to unbolt it and move it to Wales then.


Great name for a band - Wet Fixings.


I'd vote for the old Stock Exchange tower, except it's getting a recladding so might end up looking alright.

Am I the only person in town who loves Vauxhall Cross and the nearby flats? To me, they've got bags of character compared with the other buildings on the waterfront round there. Is it the green colour that puts people off?


C'mon, admit it you precious N Londoners - none of you have even been to Colliers Wood, have you?

At least come and see the looming cack-blackened horror (the 'ready-charred' look usually only seen in Chechnya) - you don't even need to leave the tube station booking hall to be assaulted by it. Also realise it was built by a Halliburton subsidiary. The others are celestial cathedrals by comparison. Please, just for once some transriver it down!


Sorry, Reticent. North Londoners have their own blackened blight on the landscape - the Archway Tower.

Though to be perfectly honest, it's not so much the tower itself as the entire complex that it's the centre of. I reckon if you destroyed all the buildings around it, got rid of the underpasses and redesigned the tube station *then* Colliers Wood would be worse.