Gherkin: The View From Washington

By M@ Last edited 151 months ago
Gherkin: The View From Washington

Surely it’s not possible to dislike the gherkin? It’s that rare Lineker of buildings –distinctive profile, super-famous yet loved by all. Or so we thought...

Washington Post architecture critic Roger K Lewis isn’t the biggest fan. His latest column pours careful scorn on Foster’s masterpiece, calling it repetitive and intrusive.

He also opines that the gherkin ‘disregards its site’, which comprises ‘a tightly knit medieval fabric of narrow streets and small blocks’. Erm, did he not notice Lloyds, St Helen’s, and the Willis Building, all within about 100 m?

If you’re going to argue that the gherkin is too big and intrusive for its site, perhaps we oughta consider demolishing the pyramids and the Eiffel Tower too. Isn’t the whole joy of London’s architecture that it mixes buildings of all scales and styles in unplanned randomness? The views of the medieval St Helen’s Church, or St Andrew Undershaft are, in our humble opinion, augmented, not ruined, by the great shiny phallic tower rising behind them. Where better to compare the towers of old and new London in a single view?

Well, when it comes down to it, we don’t really know the first thing about architecture compared with Mr Lewis. So we certainly respect his view and acknowledge that not everyone is going to like things that are distinctive. But we thought we’d throw his viewpoint up on the site and see what readers think.

Do you hate the gherkin? If so, we want to know why, damn you.

Image from theladsweekend’s Flickr photostream.

Last Updated 24 July 2006