Home Commercial Property The UK's ugliest buildings revealed – which London skyscrapers made the list?

The UK's ugliest buildings revealed – which London skyscrapers made the list?

by LLP Editor
1st Sep 15 9:40 am

Carbuncle Cup shortlist announced

Come Wednesday and the winners of the annual Carbuncle Cup are going to be revealed – the architecture award that no one wants to win.

Spearheaded by Building Design magazine, the awards reveal Britain’s ugliest buildings.

Topping the nomination list is London’s very-own “ghastly eyesore”, the Walkie Talkie.

Announcing the list, Building Design said: “Sadly mediocre architecture is rife in our towns and cities with too many new buildings blighting rather than improving the built environment.

“These buildings suffer from a number of failings including blank, faceless facades, cheap shouty cladding, bad proportions and ill-conceived design ‘features’.

“Frequently examples of gross overdevelopment, rather than mitigating their impact, too many of these buildings stick two fingers up to their context.”

Take a look at the nominations for the Carbuncle Cup

1. The Walkie Talkie

Walkie Talkie

Nominator Mel Nel said: “This building is so truly carbuncular that if there was a Carbuncle Cup Trophy it should be shaped like this ghastly eye sore.”


2. Student halls complex Woodward Hall in North Acton

Imperial College Towers

Nominator Jonathan Notley said: “Pity the poor students who will have to inhabit this monstrosity in a noisy and highly polluted environment, devoid of any outdoor space (unless you count the cemetery next door).”


3. Parliament House, a 23-storey residential block close to the River Thames in Lambeth

Parliament House

Nominator Robert Shaw said: “OK, it’s pretty awful – looks like someone pieced together scraps of some elevations picked out of a shredder – but nowhere near as ghastly as Walkie Talkie.”


4. Extension to the Waltham Forest YMCA, opposite Walthamstow Town Hall

YMCA building

Nominator Mike Duriez said: “Impressively bad, and thus a very good nomination. The relationship with the adjacent historic building is particularly carbuncular.”


5. The City Gateway in Swaythling, Southampton

Southampton Gateway

Nominator Simon Hill said: “On to this inept and chaotic assembly of forms is superimposed an eclectic mix of garish colours at the back, with more subdued  mixes of beiges, white and maroon at the front, ‘enlivened’ by splashes of primary colours on the window returns and a spiral variegation to the beiges of the tower which all totally contradict the local setting.”


6. Whittle building, Peterhouse, University of Cambridge

Whittle Building

Nominator John Simpson said: “For a college which once boasted Eric Parry as a fellow, Peterhouse has commissioned what is probably one of the most regressive and conservative pieces of university architecture in the country. Part oil sheik’s palace, part home counties accountancy firm headquarters, wholly tasteless, the building’s failures are not just aesthetic.”

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