Possibly the nastiest, flashiest and most offensive building in London is Faraday House. It caused outrage when it was built in 1932, sticking up right in front of St Pauls. Legislation quickly followed banning high rise buildings along certain key views over London, but the opportunity was not taken to demolish the bloody thing as it had been built not by greedy developers but by the government! Yes, Faraday House was designed and built by the Office of Works as the City of London's telephone exchange. The architect was one A.R. Myers.
It has one redeeming feature, a line of rather jolly carved keystones over the ground floor windows. To a casual glance they look like traditional outcrops of fruit and veg, but they are actually telecommunications apparatus including telephones, undersea cables, and even relays. One shows electrical signals girdling the earth, girdle girdle girdle, as E. L. Wisty put it so memorably. The arches at either end have the head of Mercury, the messenger of the gods, with his winged helmet. His caduceus, a winged staff with two serpents entwined round it, is reproduced in bronze.