Wednesday, September 3, 2014
in the eye of beholders
This building was recently awarded the Carbuncle Cup for the worst new building in the Great Britain.
I'm not sure why. Given the stuff that wins prizes these days, I see more similarities than differences. Perhaps because this is a basic mixed use building--parking garage, supermarket, and flats above--it's not allowed to have the expressive idiocy of a museum or performing arts center. The architects are just complying with the zeitgeist.
Now that I look closer, I'm seeing its failure to engage with the street in a positive way. The sheer faces and monotonous cladding make for an inhospitable experience. I think the design team was trying to hard in the wrong places. At least there's no exposed concrete. God help us if that comes back in style.