Carbuncle Cup 2017 Winner, Shortlist, Bad Buildings, Architects, Prize, Projects, News, Designs

Carbuncle Cup Winner

UK Ugly Architecture Awards – Britain’s Worst New Building Winner + Shortlist + Nominations

6 Sep 2017

Carbuncle Cup Winner for 2017

Nova Victoria win the award for Britain’s worst new building

This year the award goes to an office development in London’s Victoria, reports Building Design magazine today.

Nova Victoria, a mixed use scheme in London has won the 2017 Carbuncle Cup.

Nova Victoria office development in London |

The development, which occupies a whole city block in London’s Victoria consists of two office buildings designed by PLP Architecture and a residential building designed by Benson + Forsyth. The award goes to PLP Architecture for the office buildings.

The winner was selected by a panel of judges including BD editor Thomas Lane, Twentieth Century Society director Catherine Croft, Urbed director and chair of the Academy of Urbanism David Rudlin who won the Wolfson Economics Prize in 2014 and BD assistant editor Elizabeth Hopkirk. Readers’ comments were also considered during the judging process.

Nova Victoria office development London |

The development is bordered by Victoria Street, Bressenden Place and Buckingham Palace Road. Nova North is 12 storeys high and is located in the middle of the site and Nova South is bordered by Bressenden Place and is 16 storeys high. The site is dissected by an alley between the residential block to the north of the site and Nova North and between the two office buildings. The total floor area of the offices is 480,000sqft.

source: Carbuncle Cup Winner for 2017

31 Aug 2017

Carbuncle Cup Shortlist for 2017

Shortlist for Britain’s worst new building award

The shortlist for the Carbuncle Cup 2017, architecture’s award for Britain’s worst building, has been revealed by BD. The shortlist of six contains a mix of buildings types of differing scales.

The shortlist was selected by a panel of judges consisting of BD editor Thomas Lane, BD assistant editor Elizabeth Hopkirk, Twentieth Century Society director Catherine Croft and Urbed director and chair of the Academy of Urbanism David Rudlin. Readers’ comments were also considered during the judging process.

The winner of the BD Carbuncle Cup will be announced on Wednesday 6th September 2017..

Park Plaza London Waterloo:
Park Plaza London Waterloo hotel building
photo courtesy of Building Magazine

Carbuncle Cup 2017 shortlist:

– Nova Victoria by PLP Architecture

– Preston Railway Station Butler Street Entrance by AHR

– Greetham Street Student Halls, Portsmouth by Cooley Architects

– 8 Somers Road, Malvern by Vivid Architects

– Circus West, Battersea Power Station, London by Simpson Haugh

– Park Plaza London Waterloo by ESA Architecture

source: Carbuncle Cup Shortlist 2017

7 Sep 2016

Carbuncle Cup 2016 Winner

London’s Docklands Flats win the award for Britain’s worst new building

Lincoln Plaza in London’s Docklands is the winner of the 2016 Carbuncle Cup, reports Building Design.

Lincoln Plaza London Docklands flats

The striking residential development was designed by BUJ Architects for Galliard Homes.

Two residential towers, of up to 31 storeys, are integrated with a hotel plus a drum-shaped building.

Lincoln Plaza London Docklands property
images courtesy Galliard Homes

The winner was selected by a panel of judges.

The jury members were:-

– BD editor Thomas Lane
– architect and architectural critic Ike Ijeh
– author, architect and BD columnist Ben Flatman
– LSE director of estates Julian Robinson

Reader comments were also taken into account during the judging process.

The towers are titled Franklin and Greenwich. The buildings are notable for geometric patterned facades.

Carbuncle Cup 2016 Winner – article in BD

Carbuncle Cup Shortlist 2016

– 5 Broadgate, London, by Make Architects
– The Diamond, University of Sheffield by Twelve Architects
– Lincoln Plaza, London by BUJ Architects
– One Smithfield, Stoke on Trent by RHWL Architects
– Poole Methodist Church extension by Intelligent Design Centre
– Saffron Square, London by Rolfe Judd

29 Aug 2013

Carbuncle Cup 2013 Winner

Scandalous student housing scoops the award for Britain’s worst new building

A multimillion-pound block of student accommodation on London’s Caledonian Road has been named the UK’s worst new building.

465 Caledonian Road, designed by Stephen George and Partners for University College London, was once a historic red brick warehouse that has now been largely demolished despite being protected.

The original frontage has been retained in a cynical gesture towards preservation. But its failings go deeper: this is a building that the jury struggled to see as remotely fit for human occupation.

The majority of rooms lack adequate daylight, offer little privacy and a significant number facing the retained facade have no direct view out at all.

465 Caledonian Road:
465 Caledonian Road 465 Caledonian Road London 465 Caledonian Road student housing
photos : Gareth Gardner

“There is no small irony in the fact that the building stands on the same street as HMP Pentonville,” said BD executive editor and Carbuncle Cup juror Ellis Woodman.

“As the first intake of students move into their dark and far from private rooms next month, they might be forgiven for wondering why the prisoners have been provided with the better view.”

The building was originally refused planning consent by Islington Council but was approved on appeal by the planning inspectorate on the grounds that students don’t require the same quality of accommodation as the rest of society.

The runner-up for the Carbuncle Cup, which is awarded annually by the leading architecture industry title Building Design (BD), was also student accommodation.

Student housing is one of the few building types that has continued to be built in large quantity throughout the downturn and all too frequently to a level of quality that is little short of an insult to the buildings’ inhabitants.

“A look at the rapidly growing student accommodation sector provides an insight into trends in property development globally, and is alarming for lovers of the city and of architecture,” said Hank Dittmar, Carbuncle Cup juror and special advisor to HRH the Prince of Wales on Global Urbanisation.

“It seems to be felt that occupancy of less than a year and busy student lifestyles mean that standards can be reduced.”

The full shortlist for Carbuncle Cup 2013

• 465 Caledonian Road, London, by Stephen George & Partners for UCL (Winner)

• Castle Mill housing, Port Meadow, Oxford, by Frankham Consultancy Group for Oxford University (runner up)

• Redcar Beacon aka the Vertical Pier, Redcar, by Seven Architecture and Smeeden Foreman for Redcar Council

• Porth Eirias Watersports Centre, Colwyn Bay, Wales, by K2 Architects for Conwy County Borough Council

• Premier Inn, Lambeth, London, by Hamiltons (now Flanagan Lawrence. Build architect Dexter Moren) for GLI (York Road) Ltd

• Avant Garde, 34-42 Bethnal Green Road, London, by Stock Woolstencroft for Bishopsgate Apartments LLP

The jury for Carbuncle Cup 2013

• Ellis Woodman (chair) – BD executive editor
• Hank Dittmar – special adviser to HRH Prince of Wales on global urbanisation
• Owen Hatherley – architecture critic and author.
• Gillian Darley – writer, biographer, broadcaster and architecture critic.
• Denise Chevin – award-winning built environment journalist, former editor of Building Magazine and Housing Today

Read the full article with judges comments on Bdonline

22 Aug 2013

Carbuncle Cup 2013

Britain’s Worst New Building

In the running for this year’s award are:

– Avant Garde tower, Bethnal Green, London
– UCL student housing, 465 Caledonian Road, Islington, London
– Porth Eirias Watersports Centre, Colwyn Bay, Wales
– Redcar Beacon aka the Vertical Pier, Redcar, Cleveland
– Premier Inn, Waterloo, London
– Castle Mill housing, Port Meadow, Oxford

Vote in the poll for the UK’s ugliest building of the year, hosted by The Guardian:

Carbuncle Cup – external link

Redcar Beacon
Redcar Competition
image : Seven Architecture

14 Sep 2012

Carbuncle Cup Winner in 2012

Britain’s worst new building Award

The restoration of the Cutty Sark by Grimshaw won in 2012.

The £50m restoration of the dry dock in Greenwich, south east London, took six years to complete.

The building (and the clipper contained within) opened to the public on 26 April 2012.

Building Design’s jury, which unanimously chose the Cutty Sark for the award, describes it as a “disastrously conceived” scheme, “misdirected… from the start,” whose “myriad failings…tragically defile the very thing it sets out to save.”

Andrew Gilligan in The Daily Telegraph states, “The architects, Grimshaw, have taken something delicate and beautiful and surrounded it with a building that looks like a 1980s bus station. Clumsy and ineptly detailed, their new glass greenhouse around the Cutty Sark totally ruins her thrilling lines, obscures much of her exquisite gilding and cynically forces anyone who actually wants to see her to pay their £12 and go inside. The sight of people pressing their faces forlornly against the smoked glass to try to see something of the ship is one of the sadder in London.”

Andrew Gilligan goes on to say, “Most culpably, perhaps, there is Chris Nash, the Grimshaw partner in charge – who by pure coincidence, no doubt, last week announced that he was leaving the firm, having “reached a stage where I would like to offer my particular combination of skills and experience to a wider group of professionals and work at a smaller scale.”

30 Jul 2012

Carbuncle Cup Shortlist 2012

Britain’s worst new building Award

The Orbit, London, England
Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond
ArcelorMittal Orbit
image from London Legacy Development Corporation
ArcelorMittal Orbit
Kapoor & Balmond’s Orbit is “nominated not only for its unique ugliness but for the mockery it makes of London 2012’s claims to sustainability”.

Titanic Museum, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Architect & Lead Consultant: TODD Architects

Concept Design: CivicArts / Eric R Kuhne & Associates
Titanic Belfast Building
photo : Christopher Heaney
Titanic Museum Belfast
a building that plumbs “new depths of inanity in their literal architectural expression. Belfast’s Titanic museum has been designed to resemble the collision of a ship and an iceberg”.

Shard End Library, Birmingham, England
IDP Partnership
Shard End Library is a library with a shard sticking out its end.

Firepool Lock, Taunton, Somerset, England
Andrew Smith Architects
“dismally proportioned, thinly detailed and grimly utilitarian”.

Mann Island Development, Liverpool, England
Design: Broadway Malyan
Mann Island Development
picture from architects
Mann Island Development
“a scheme that completes the desecration of that city’s once great waterfront”.

Cutty Sark visitor facilities, Greenwich, London, England
Grimshaw Architects
“a scheme that obscures one of the jewels of British maritime heritage behind an ineptly detailed greenhouse”.

18 Jun 2012

Carbuncle Cup 2012

The award for Britain’s worst new building is back!

The UK’s leading architecture newspaper BD invites the public to put forward their worst new building for this year’s Carbuncle Cup.

Nominations are already pouring in from disgruntled architects and local residents. The list includes several high-profile schemes including the renovation of the Cutty Sark and one of Prince Charles’ pet projects.

But the hot favourite is one of the most controversial projects of the 2012 Olympics – the ArcellorMittal Orbit tower by artist Anish Kapoor and engineer Cecil Balmond.

The ArcelorMittal Orbit, London:
ArcelorMittal Orbit
image from London Legacy Development Corporation

Each week, one nominated building will be published on Bdonline – visit to see them all.

The nominations that receive the most support in the comments section will automatically make the shortlist which will be revealed on July 20th. A final winner will be chosen by public vote and a jury of built environment specialists led by BD’s executive editor Ellis Woodman.

“BD’s annual Carbuncle Cup offers the British public the chance to voice their distress at shoddy architecture, venal development and feckless planning,” said Woodman.

“The ever-growing support that the prize receives suggests the UK still has a long way to go before the quality of its built environment meets its citizens’ aspirations. Until that happy day, the Carbuncle Cup will be there to name and shame the worst offenders.”

Any building completed within the past 12 months or due for completion by the 2012 Olympics is eligible and anyone can nominate by sending in a short paragraph about the building to [email protected]. The deadline for nominations is Friday July 13th.

Carbuncle Cup 2012 favourite – The ArcellorMittal Orbit tower

About Carbuncle Cup

Now in its seventh year, the Carbuncle Cup is the UK’s only award for bad buildings.

“For a profession that loves to give itself prizes for excellence, an award that sets out to recognize the polar opposite is a moment for reflection.

“Despite all of the planning rules and regulations in the UK, a Carbuncle is what happens when bad architecture and bad planning come together.” – BD Editor in Chief Amanda Baillieu

Carbuncle Cup serves to highlight the fact that most of the UK’s new building stock is poorly designed or simply mediocre.

The award acts as a counterpoint to the plethora of prizes handed out to architects each year – it is to the Stirling Prize what the Razzies are to the Oscars.

Carbuncle Cup 2012 information from UBM

Carbuncle Cup – Previous Winners

2011 – MediaCity UK, Salford
Media City Salford
image from architects
Carbuncle Cup 2011 winner : MediaCity UK

2010 – Strata Tower, London
Strata SE1
photo : Will Pryce / BFLS
Carbuncle Cup 2010 winner : Strata Tower

2009 – Pier Head Ferry Terminal, Liverpool
Pier Head Ferry Terminal
photo © Adrian Welch
Carbuncle Cup 2009 winner : Pier Head Ferry Terminal
Carbuncle Cup winner by Hamilton Architects provocatively placed in front of the famous Three Graces.

Location: UK

Stirling Prize

World Architecture Festival Awards

Carbuncle Cup – Previous Years

Carbuncle Cup 2010

Carbuncle Cup – 2009 Winners

Carbuncle Cup Nominees

Some Carbuncle Cup nominees shown on e-architect in recent years:

Bézier Apartments, London:
Bézier Apartments
photo © Nick Weall

University of Nottingham Jubilee Campus Extension, Nottingham
Jubilee Campus
photograph : Zander Olsen

Carbuncle Awards – Scotland, run by the Carnyx Group

RIBA Awards

AJ100 Building of the Year Awards

Comments / photos for the Carbuncle Cup 2016 Winning Building page welcome