Gherkin man condemns ‘all-glass’ buildings

gherkinThe architect who brought us the City of London’s iconic ‘Gherkin’ skyscraper has spoken out against ‘all-glass’ buildings, stating that “we have to reduce the amount of windows” in order to meet new building regulations and zero carbon by 2019.

,Speaking on Radio 4 documentary, Rooms with a View, hosted by writer and architectural historian, Tom Dyckhoff, ‘father of the Gherkin’, Ken Shuttleworth said: “We can’t have these all-glass buildings. We need to be much more responsible in terms of the way we thermally think about our buildings.”

,While his affection for the Gherkin, which he describes as “the most liked building in the UK at the moment,” remains apparent, Shuttleworth states that he would ‘make it differently’ if he were designing it today, adding: “Everything I’ve done for the past 40 years I’m rethinking now and I think it’s important to grasp that to meet the new building regulations, and to meet zero carbon by 2019, we have to reduce the amount of windows in buildings — or the glass industry will have to come up with new products.”

,Following Shuttleworth’s comments, host Dyckhoff notes how the Gherkin, called so because of its resemblance to the vegetable in terms of shape, is ‘already out of date’ after just one decade, having officially opened in April 2004, leading him to ask: “Will ‘window’ be a dirty word in another 10 years?”

,The GGF said it was preparing a response to the Ken Shuttleworth’s views but has declined to comment so far.

,The full Rooms with a View programme, first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday 27 May, can be heard at:


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