There are some competitions that you lose by winning. Like the Darwin Awards, or an Ignobel, a Razzie, or — in the case of the University College London’s brand new £18m student housing block — a Carbuncle Cup, which is awarded annually to the worst building built in Britain.
Deftly described by The Guardian‘s Oliver Wainwright as “prison-like” due to its low ceilings and small solitary window facing a brick facade:
Looming behind the retained brick facade of a nineteenth-century warehouse, the 350-bedroom hulk squats on north London’s Caledonian Road like a beached whale, trying to hide its copious grey flanks behind the dainty Victorian mask. Spilling out on either side, and climbing up to 11 storeys, it is a bizarre Frankenstein concoction: its floors rise out of step with the existing facade, meaning more than half of the street-facing bedrooms look straight on to the brick wall, only one metre away.
For £730 ($1271) per month, students will have to endure inadequate daylight, zero outside views and a near complete lack of privacy — windows on the rear face of the building stand less than 5m from adjoining buildings, less than a third of the statutory 18m distance required by the city.
“It utterly defies belief,” Islington councillor Paul Convery told the Guardian, “Now that it’s been erected, it slaps you in the face how totally wrong the building is.” And that is why we invented AutoCAD. [Guardian via Archinect]
Pictures: BDOnline, Oliver Wainright