Wailing Building Irks Brit Neighbors


It howls, it hums, it screams, and it’s been said to be “annoying the heck” out of the people who live near it.

The Beetham Tower in Manchester, England, is making loud noises every time the wind blows, according to a recent article in The Huffington Post. A video taken Nov. 29 during what the news source says was a day the city faced “gale force” winds demonstrates an eerie howling noise coming from the 47-story building.

Architect Apology

Architect Ian Simpson says he knows all about the problem. He lives in the penthouse. And the problem, according to the news source, has been going on for a long time.

“It’s like wind blowing over a leaf,” Simpson told the Manchester Evening News in 2012. “We are working with acoustic specialists to determine a new way forward.

“We don’t need to remove the whole of the blade,” Simpson continued, speaking of a glass blade at the top of the tower—added for design and not a structural purpose—that is being blamed for creating the noise. “We might remove the glass.

“I’m completely aware of the noise because I live at the top of the building,” Simpson told the daily paper. “I would like to apologize for that and we are looking to address it so that next year we don’t have the same problem."

Social Media Response

But that was three years ago, and solving the problem has not happened as of yet, The Huffington Post reported. And some took to Twitter to voice their dissatisfaction.

“To all the tourists in Manchester; it’s not an air raid siren, you’re not being abducted, it’s just the Beetham Tower having a whinge,” said Ciaran Watkins.

But, as the Manchester paper said, the best exchange on Twitter was between “Angry Beetham” and “Happy Beetham!”


“HAPPY SUNDAYS HUMANS [smile emoji] What shall we do today? [blushing emoji],” @HappyBeetham posted.

Officials Not Pleased

Online and off, neither residents nor city officials appear to be amused.

City Council members also have said in the past that they don’t like the sound much, either.

“Environmental health has a duty to respond to this because it’s a noise nuisance,” said City Centre councilor Kevin Peel, after he told the Manchester paper in 2012 that he had contacted the Environmental Health officials after receiving dozens of complaints at that time.

“It [the blade] doesn’t serve any logical purpose and it’s disturbing the residents,” said Peel. “I think they should take the damn thing off.”

About The Beetham

Officially known as Manchester Beetham Tower, the building was completed in 2006 at a cost of £150 million (about US$226 million), according to the building’s website. It is said to be the highest building in Manchester; the tallest residential building in Europe; and the seventh tallest building in England.

By Mikey / CC BY-SA 2.0 via flickr

Architect Ian Simpson said he believes it is a glass blade at the top of the tower causing the problem and has apologized to the city for the noise.

The building has 525,000-square-feet of space and is 168.87-meters- (about 554-feet-) tall, the site said. Its 47-floors include the Manchester Hilton Hotel, 219 luxury apartments and 16 penthouses. It also has received a number of design awards.

Beetham also may get a “twin” in London, the London Beetham Tower’s website said. It was supposed to be completed in 2012, but it has yet to be built, according to several media sites.


Tagged categories: Architects; Building design; Building Envelope; Environmental Control; Europe; Noise monitoring

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