London Skyscraper Wins Carbuncle Cup
The 42-storey Strata Tower in Elephant & Castle (SE1) has been named winner of the Carbuncle Cup ΓÇô an award given to the building voted as BritainΓÇÖs ugliest new building.
Originally hailed as an architectural breakthrough, the tower, which features built-in turbines that deliver 8% of the buildings electricity needs, beat thirty-one other buildings, including the Cube office space scheme in Birmingham, to what is surely one of BritainΓÇÖs least treasured awards.
Elephant & Castle, which is only a short distance from the iconic buildings of Westminster, is currently the focus of a large regeneration project ΓÇô a regeneration project which will now include a building described as having ΓÇ£philishave StylingsΓÇ¥ and “plain visual grotesqueness” according to the The Georgian Group who nominated it.
“It’s what I term Marmite architecture ΓÇô you either love it or you hate it.” ΓÇô This was the view of Justin Black, Director of the Strata Tower developer Brookfield upon its completion before it was described as a ΓÇ£building that appears to be auditioning for a supporting role in a James Bond title sequence” by Ellis Woodman of Building Design, the trade newspaper which organised the prize.
While the Georgian Group and , who campaign against the neglect, maltreatment and destruction of Georgian buildings in England and Wales, and Building Design clearly have very strong feelings about this ΓÇ£eye catchingΓÇ¥ addition to the London skyline – but beauty is of course in the eye of the beholder.
And while it may seem that the award is merely a bit of fun, Charles Holland of FAT Architecture points out that: “Labelling one architect with having produced the worst building of the year without mention of the client, developer or contractor means giving the architect a massive kicking when they are very rarely the sole author of the project. Nothing wrong with robust criticism, but laughing at other people’s mistakes is never an edifying spectacle.”
What are your thoughts about the Strata Tower: is it an eyesore or a modern building that will come to be admired through the passing of time?