They say that bad publicity is good publicity. Nevertheless, late August is a time for baited breath among UK architects, as the readers of Building Design generate the shortlist for Britain’s “ugliest” building. Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder and judgment towards these unpopular designs shouldn’t necessarily be generalized. However, this competition opens up important dialogues about architectural aesthetics and public reception of new projects.
Continuing the 12-year tradition of what has been called the RIBA Stirling Prize’s less fortunate sibling, the shortlist for the 2018 Carbuncle Cup showcases the six projects which British architecture followers love to hate. Previous winners of the prize include the Cutty Sark by Grimshaw in 2012, and Rafael Viñoly Architects’ 20 Fenchurch Street in 2015.
Below, you can explore the six buildings chosen by Building Design readers, all in the running for the prize that all architects want to avoid.
Shankly Hotel, Liverpool / Signature Living
Located in central Liverpool, this rooftop extension to the Shankly Hotel has divided opinion among locals. The black extension to the former Millennium House has been dubbed “grotesque,” however developers Signature Living claim that the building is “far from complete” and hence was too early to judge.
Beckley Point, Plymouth / Boyes Rees Architects
Situated in Devon, in the South West of England, the 23-story student housing block is the tallest building in the region.
20 Ambleside Avenue, London / Pace Jefford Moore Architects
A private house in Streatham, South-West London, 20 Ambleside Avenue has been designed with adherence to a low-energy, environmentally-friendly, Passivhaus mantra.
Lewisham Gateway / PRP Architects
This urban regeneration scheme in south London has seen two towers finished, with another two under construction. The project cost a total of £375 million.
Redrock Leisure Centre, Stockport / BDP
A £45million leisure center located south of Manchester, BDP’s Redrock Stockport hosts a 10-screen cinema, restaurants, bars, shops, and a 340-space car park.
Haydn Tower, London / Rolfe Judd
Located in south London, the 13-acre residential scheme has been built around a giant supermarket. Two phases of the scheme have been completed, with a 37-story tower due to open in 2019.