It’s been a tense week since the announcement of the Carbuncle Cup shortlist for 2015. Who will win the coveted* ugliest building in Britain award?
Could the award go to the tall cylinder looming conspicuously over the riverbank in Vauxhall, or might it go to the upside down mangled ferry-boat nightmare of Trinity Square in Newcastle?
Despite the fierce competition, it is a Tesco store in Woolwich in east London which has swooped in to win with a spectacularly unpleasant design the judges described as “oppressive, defensive, arrogant and inept”.
Each year the Carbuncle Cup is organised by architecture website Building Design and highlights the UK’s buildings that are “unforgivably bad and deserve to be named and shamed”.
The Tesco in Woolwich is part of a project known as Woolwich central – a glass façaded affair, with a car park at the bottom, a supermarket on top of that, and with residential flats perching on top.
The judges went to town with their withering descriptions of the project: “Woolwich might have thought that its days as a military outpost were over. Wrong. Somehow what looks like the world’s largest shooting range gained planning permission right in the middle of the town centre, presumably after masquerading as housing above a Tesco supermarket.
“Camouflage comes in the way of some truly diabolical cladding and a massing strategy that seems to have been directly inspired by the 1948 Berlin blockade; we can only hope that residential leases come with free airlift.”
*probably not coveted