Three Belfast buildings nominated for 'ugly awards'
Three Belfast buildings have been nominated for the "Carbuncle Cup", awarded to the UK's worst new building.
The Obel complex, St Anne's Square and the Boat are all in the running for the 2010 prize awarded by Building Design, a weekly newspaper and online site for architects.
Readers were asked to suggest buildings completed in the last year which they found "fiendishly ugly".
The Obel was damned by one contributor as "a south-facing glazed oven".
The Boat - designed by Todd Architects - is close to the Customs House building in the city centre. It was described as an oversized "blank gable wall".
But Paul Crowe from Todd said: "We think the building is a welcome addition to the Belfast skyline, we don't have that many landmark buildings."
Mr Crowe said the building, which cost £5.5m to build, overlooked two other sites. These are owned by other people and may be developed. Under current legislation, the building could not have windows where it overlooked the other sites.
St Anne's Square was called a "neo-classical, pastiche mess" by one contributor.
The £100m leisure, commercial and residential development is in the city's Cathedral Quarter in a major site of regeneration in Belfast.
It has won several awards for design excellence and innovation. The architects are WDR & RT Taggart.
But Ian, from Belfast claimed there was "a feeling of dread" as the building emerged and said its building services "stuck out like a sore thumb".
Other readers said they were "shocked" at the comments. They said St Anne's was "truly beautiful" with wonderful proportions and impressive design.
They said it led the way for architecture in the city.
Kieran Beggan, a partner at WDR & RT Taggart, said the building had won three major awards and also featured in the New Palladians - a book featuring classical and vernacular traditions in modern architecture.
"John Smylie was the partner in charge and he is a traditional classical architect," Mr Beggan said.
"St Anne's Square is designed in the traditional, classical style and it generated a lot of debate. In general, the public liked it, but modern architects do not like it."
Another nominator describes the Obel tower - a mix of living and office accommodation that dominates the city sky line - as "a confused barcode".
It was designed by Broadway Malyan architects. The company said they had no comment to make.
A shortlist for the award will drawn up later and the "winner" will be announced in August.
Last year, the flagship £10.5m ferry terminal at Liverpool's Pier Head won top prize.
It was designed by Hamilton Architects in Belfast.
Three judges for the Building Design (BD) magazine said the Merseytravel building was "a shining example of bad architecture and bad planning".
But a spokesman for Merseytravel defended the building saying it had "tremendous community support".
He said the negative comments were "only the views of two journalists and an architect."
The building incorporates ferry operations, a Beatles museum and a rooftop restaurant.
When contacted last year, Hamilton Architects said they had "no comment" to make on receiving the unwelcome prize.