Carbuncle Cup 2013
shortlist revealed

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Carbuncle Cup 2013 shortlist

News: a 24 metre tall viewing tower that looks like a helter skelter and a student housing development in Oxford have been included in a shortlist for the ugliest building completed in the UK in the last 12 months. Update 29/08/13: the winner has been announced as 465 Caledonian Road by Stephen George & Partners.

Carbuncle Cup 2013 shortlist
Castle Mill housing, Port Meadow, Oxford, by Frankham Consultancy Group

Building Design magazine - who run the annual Carbuncle Cup award for the worst designed building - unveiled a shortlist of six projects today, after receiving over 200 public nominations.

Other projects running for the title include a sports centre in Wales - known to locals as 'the dumpster' - and a 25-storey residential tower in east London that one nominator described as a "hideous monstrosity blighting the skyline off Bethnal Green Road".

Carbuncle Cup 2013 shortlist
Avant Garde, 34-42 Bethnal Green Road, London, by Stock Woolstencroft

The Castle Mill housing development that has been built near a beauty spot in Oxford was the most nominated project in the history of the Carbuncle Cup.

"A deeply unimaginative and impoverished design which would lower the spirits whatever its setting, but on the edge of one of central England's most important and ancient landscapes, it is an outrage," said one nominator.

Carbuncle Cup 2013 shortlist
Porth Eirias Watersports Centre, Colwyn Bay, Wales, by K2 Architects

The six buildings competing for the title are:

» Castle Mill housing, Port Meadow, Oxford, by Frankham Consultancy Group
» 465 Caledonian Road, London, by Stephen George and Partners
» Avant Garde, 34-42 Bethnal Green Road, London, by Stock Woolstencroft
» Redcar Beacon aka the Vertical Pier, Redcar, by Smeeden Foreman Architects
» Porth Eirias Watersports Centre, Colwyn Bay, Wales, by K2 Architects
» Premier Inn, Lambeth, London, by Hamiltons

Carbuncle Cup 2013 shortlist
Premier Inn, Lambeth, London, by Hamiltons

The winner will be selected by a jury that includes Building Design magazine executive editor Ellis Woodman and critics Owen Hatherley and Gillian Darley.

The winner will be announced on 30 August 2013.

Carbuncle Cup 2013 shortlist
465 Caledonian Road, London, by Stephen George & Partners

Last year, the Carbuncle Cup shortlist included the ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture at the Olympic Park and the Titanic Belfast museum. Grimshaw architects' steel and glass cocoon containing the historic Cutty Sark tea clipper was named the ugliest new building for 2012See all our coverage of the Carbuncle Cup »

The release of this list coincides with the recent announcement of the shortlist for the 2013 RIBA Stirling Prize, awarded to the best building by a British-registered architect.

Photographs are from anonymous nominators. The top image is of the Redcar Beacon by Smeeden Foreman Architects and Seven Architecture.

Here's the announcement from Building Design magazine:


Carbuncle Cup 2013 shortlist revealed

The six buildings that are one step closer to winning architecture’s wooden spoon…

Launched eight years ago, The Carbuncle Cup was designed as a humorous counterpart to the prestigious Stirling Prize. Since then it has become a regular - if controversial - fixture in the architectural calendar.

Even in times of economic turmoil, when few major projects are being built, hundreds of architectural travesties are allowed to pass through our planning system on a weekly basis. Few of these are ever truly exposed for the awfulness they represent - lazy design, compromised planning departments and cynical development.

After years of starchitect boom, this year Carbuncle Cup has returned to its roots, seeking out some of the worst everyday projects from across the country.

Our shortlist was whittled down from public nominations submitted to BD via email. Public comments on Bdonline supporting or against each nomination were considered during the shortlisting.

A final winner will be selected by a jury including BD executive editor Ellis Woodman and critics Owen Hatherley and Gillian Darley. The winner will be announced on August 30.

The Carbuncle Cup Shortlist 2013:

1. Castle Mill housing, Port Meadow, Oxford, by Frankham Consultancy Group

The Castle Mill housing development in Oxford is the most nominated project in the history of Carbuncle Cup. Since BD first named the development as one of this year’s nominees, the controversy surrounding the development has escalated further and it is now at the centre of a judicial review bid.

2. Port Meadow, 465 Caledonian Road, London, by Stephen George & Partners

Also in the student housing category is this rather excellent example of facadism which can be spotted on London’s Caledonian Road.

3. Avant Garde, 34-42 Bethnal Green Road, London, by Stock Woolstencroft

Sticking with residential monstrosities: this grossly over-scaled development in East London was bad enough before they gave it such an inappropriate name.

4. Redcar Beacon aka the Vertical Pier, Redcar, by Smeeden Foreman Architects

Redcar's 'beacon'; shape making gone horribly, horribly wrong.

5. Porth Eirias Watersports Centre, Colwyn Bay, Wales, by K2 Architects

Porth Eirias sports centre had so much potential before multiple revisions and cost cutting led to the Creation of this, known not-so-affectionally as ‘the dumpster’ by locals.

6. Premier Inn, Lambeth, London, by Hamiltons

The Premier Inn in Lambeth is a travesty in more ways than one - we shudder at its lumpen form and mourn the building demolished to make way for it.

  • Nick Simpson

    It HAS to be the Redcar Beacon. Awful on every level… As for the student housing in Oxford – yes it’s crap, but the push for it to win is obviously driven by local NIMBYs. There’s stuff as bad and worse than it all over the country.