A hearty congratulations are in order for Stephen George & Partners, the London firm that was just awarded the Carbuncle Cup—aimed to single out "this year's worst new building"—by Building Design magazine. No, seriously. The 350-bedroom block of University College London housing, located at 465 Caledonian Road in London, is called out by The Guardian's architecture and design critic Oliver Wainwright as "a beached whale, trying to hide its copious grey flanks behind its dainty Victorian mask." Also, he writes, it's a "Frankenstein concoction."
The developer's plan was originally rejected ("not only on grounds of excessive scale, massing, bulk and 'incoherent elevation treatment,' but on the fact that the rooms suffered from inadequate daylight, poor outlook and lack of privacy"), but later overturned on appeal. Which means the chair of the planning committee, who has been against this project from the start, is more outspoken than ever: "It utterly defies belief," he says, adding, "Now that it's been erected, it slaps you in the face how totally wrong the building is." The Guardian has the full rundown about how and why the dorm—which charges £730, or $1,135, a month—got approved.
· 'Prison-like' student housing wins Carbuncle Cup for worst building [The Guardian via Gizmodo]
· Carbuncle Cup winner 2013: A triumph for the dark side [Building Design]