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Web Exclusive | August 2014

5 Buildings with cheeky nicknames

When you see an unusual shape, you try to relate it to something familiar. And that’s how unusually shaped buildings get their nicknames. We bring to you 5 such completed buildings that have been rather thoughtfully nicknamed.


A residential skyscraper complex in Mississauga, Ontario in Canada, Absolute World Towers has two towers - one standing at 179 meters tall and the other at 161 meter. Both towers twist 209 degrees from the base to the top, lending a nice hourglass shape to them. Due to its curvaceous shape it is nicknamed the Marilyn Monroe tower in memory of the actress known for her hourglass figure.
London's 6,000 seat Olympic Velodrome that hosted the Olympic and Paralympic Track Cycling events in 2012, features a lower tier of 3,500 seats and an upper tier of 2,500 seats with the seating tiers divided by a 360 degree concourse level offering views over the Olympic Park and out to the London skyline. Its roof and upper tier uses more than 2,500 sections of steelwork which rises in height by 12 metres from the shallowest point to the highest part of the structure, helping form a distinct double-curved roof structure which has been designed to reflect the geometry of the cycling track. Since this shape resembles the wave of the much loved Pringles chips, the structure has been nicknamed Pringle by Londoners who love to nickname all their iconic buildings!
Its not possible that you talk about nicknamed buildings and don’t mention The Gherkin, also known by many other controversial and non controversial names. The curved shape of the building can be seen from far away, and it provides a clear contrast to the more traditional buildings and famous landmarks such as Tower Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral surrounding it.
The F&F Tower (previously known as the Revolution Tower) is an office tower in Panama City designed by Pinzón Lozano & Asociados. Made with glass and reinforced concrete, the building at a height of 242.0 metres was ranked amongst the top 10 best skyscrapers of the year in 2011 at the Emporis Skyscraper Award.
Designed by Steven Holl and Associates as a part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Simmons Hall is a dormitory designed consciously like a sea sponge with a "porous" design. The building has 350 student rooms, 5,538 2-foot square windows, and is constructed of 291 customized precast, steel-reinforced Perfcon panels. The building metaphorically works as a sponge that soaks up light through a series of large openings that cut into the building.

Besides, these there a lot of buildings under construction that are already nicknamed (marketing gimmicks probably) like the Walkie Talkie and the Cheese Grater in London.
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