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London’s Most Unusual Buildings
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London’s Most Unusual Buildings

Picture of Ella Braidwood
Updated: 23 January 2018
London’s architectural patchwork quilt – stitched together using a myriad of buildings of varying styles and time periods – is filled with oddities. Here’s our round-up of the most unusual buildings in the capital.

The Walkie Talkie Tower

This distinctive skyscraper on 20 Fenchurch Street, aptly dubbed the ‘walkie talkie tower’, is just one of the standout buildings among London’s skyline. Designed by Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly, the 34-storey building is top-heavy and has a public viewing gallery, the Sky Garden, at the top (you can book free tickets online). Other peculiar skyscrapers in the capital include Foster + Partners’ St Mary Axe, nicknamed the Gherkin, and the wedge-shaped Leadenhall Building, also known as the Cheesegrater.

20 Fenchurch Street, London, UK

20 Fenchurch Street
20 Fenchurch Street | © Wikimedia Commons
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Isle of Dogs Pumping Station

This temple-like pumping station on the Isle of Dogs was built between 1986 and 1988 to the designs of John Outram. The postmodern building stands out with its large, red brick columns topped with brightly painted capitals and even what looks like a Cyclops’ eye in the middle of the pediment – a feature created using a turbine engine.

Isle of Dogs Pumping Station, Stewart Street, London, UK

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M by Montcalm Tech City

Prepare to be confused – the diagonal windows on the façade of this hotel create an optical illusion, which can leave you feeling dizzy. From a distance, the front of the building looks rather flat, and its triangular shape is only revealed as you walk closer.

151-157 City Rd, London, UK

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Wilton’s Music Hall

Billed as the ‘oldest grand music hall in the world’, this building in London’s East End is proud of its authentic rugged looks – complete with peeling paint and exposed brickwork. The music hall dates back to the mid-19th century and was later used as a church and a rag storage warehouse, before it was turned back into an arts performance space. Today, it’s a great venue providing shows and music.

Wilton’s Music Hall, 1 Graces Alley, Whitechapel, London, UK

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The Churchill Arms

Head for a pint at The Churchill Arms in West London, which is famed for its ornate display of flowers coating the outside of the building. Built in 1750, the name of the boozer is a reference to Winston Churchill’s grandparents, who used to be regular customers.

119 Kensington Church Street, Kensington, London, UK

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