The plans for a new skyscraper, already nicknamed The Turd by City wags, have been passed by Corporation of London officials.
The 980 foot structure is the latest of a series of iconic towers to be built in the Square Mile, each given its own memorable moniker by Londoners, such as the Gherkin, the Shard and the Walkie-Talkie, names which have been tacitly approved, or even adopted, by architects’ creative teams.
The new building was originally dubbed ‘The Branch of Life’ by its designers, Davis, Davies & David, and was a serious attempt to introduce an organic-style structure with world-beating eco-credentials into an otherwise sterile environment.
Unfortunately the tower’s irregular shape, meant to resemble the kind of stick you might throw for a dog, coupled with the mix of matt and glistening glazing panels in subtle shades of brown, meant that instead of the intended breath of fresh air, the design caused a stink from day one.
Speculation that a new building was being commissioned by liquidation and insolvency experts Booerm & Boearst Inc. and early publicity images showing the planned tower looked like a fresh dump by a desperate giant, immediately led to commentators completely ignoring the official publicity title.
‘It started as a bit of fun,’ said commodity trader Giles Skidmore. ‘Someone saw a picture in the paper and commented that the thing look like a giant turd and the name kinda stuck. It’s rather appropriate given the prospective occupants.’
Attempts to brush the problem away have not been helped by rumours that early tests of the building’s innovative air-management system show that steam will rise from all parts of the structure almost all the time in London’s cool damp air.
According to experts, the architects have attempted to neutralise the whiff of bad publicity by promoting a compromise name of The Log, but no matter how strenuously they try, the new name has been floating around for too long and refuses to go away. ‘Their problem just goes to prove the old adage,’ quipped a smug rival architect, ‘that you can’t polish a turd.’