The Glass Testicle

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That’s how former London Mayor Ken Livingstone describes London City Hall: “the glass testicle.” He is being kind. If this is not the ugliest building on earth, I don’t know what is.

This architectural monstrosity opened in 2002 after some 43 million pounds were spent building it. Its grotesque shape was supposed to make it more energy efficient, but then they used so much glass in its exterior that it has turned out to be one of the more energy inefficient dumps in London. Science marches on.

It reminds me of an unfortunate typo once seen in a newspaper real estate ad, which read, “You can’t heat this one!” It’s probably a bugger to try to cool it, too.

What hope is there for adult human beings, charged with the responsibility to handle vast amounts of money, able to employ the most highly-regarded experts money can buy, who wind up building something that looks like a badly rotting jack-o’-lantern? I mean, we give you 43 million pounds and we get this? Did humans actually perpetrate this fiasco, or did we have to bring in some demented race of space aliens to get such truly abysmal results?

If you are ever tempted to believe in the self-perfectibility of man, take another look at London City Hall.

4 comments on “The Glass Testicle

  1. Shift gears, my friend. The thing IS beautiful. It was created by man with the tools bestowed on us by the Almighty. Although, I do agree gazing upon it is not a noteworthy religious experience by any means. 🙂

  2. Gee, you would think the architects would understand the greenhouse effect. I can imagine without AC, it would be akin to putting ants under a magnifying glass on a hot summers day.

  3. That is truly hideous.

    Some of these architects think they are living in a Salvador Dali painting.

    I was tangentially involved in the building of a commercial structure a number of years ago, basically designing the data network, etc. The architect on the project acted as if they owned the building and that the customer had to dance to their tune. It was supposed to be highly efficient, but I have heard that the utility costs are roughly double of the building(s) it replaced.

    All the advanced electrical controls that are needed to provide said “efficiency” are expensive to maintain. From what I can tell, the only thing “conserved” by all of this is the profit margins of the people that manufacture these controls. 🙂

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