Carbuncle Cup 2014: Woolwich supermarket named 'worst building'

Woolwich Central Image copyright Building Design
Image caption Woolwich Central was one of two buildings shortlisted that was developed by Tesco subsidiary Spenhill

A London supermarket complex has been named the UK's worst new building and awarded the Carbuncle Cup 2014.

Woolwich Central got the highest number of votes in an online competition run by Building Design Magazine (BD).

The building, a combination of flats and a Tesco supermarket, was described by the judges as "oppressive, defensive, arrogant and inept".

London had four short-listed buildings, while buildings in Bath and Gateshead made up the six finalists.

Image copyright Sheppard Robson
Image caption Architects Sheppard Robson said this photo was a better representation of the development

Woolwich Central, designed by the architect Sheppard Robson, comprises 189 apartments in six interconnected blocks over 17 storeys.

The architect firm said: "The aim was to create a cohesive piece of strong architecture that unlocked this vast space and establish a desirable place to live.

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Media captionJudge Thomas Lane tells 5 live: "It's oppressive"

"We visited the development recently and the comments received were very positive, with many residents enjoying their apartments as well as the large garden spaces at the heart of the development."

Image copyright Building Design
Image caption The University of Bath said the Chancellors' Building offered a "dramatic new hub of learning and teaching"

The site was developed by Tesco subsidiary Spenhill, which was also behind one of the other six finalists.

'Lumpen towers'

Thomas Lane, editor of BD, said Woolwich Central was the most commented-on scheme but none of the comments were positive.

He said: "The scheme is lumpen and oppressive and towers over its predominantly low-rise neighbours.

Image copyright Building Design
Image caption QN7 is a new development of flats near Arsenal's football stadium

"But the building's worst crime is it diminishes the efforts of those who have worked hard to regenerate this run-down, deprived part of London. Our judges had nothing good to say about the building."

Greenwich Council's former head of planning Alex Grant, who gave the scheme the green light in 2007, told the magazine: "It may not be a carbuncle but it is a flawed project and I regret my role as its midwife."

Runner up in the competition was the 50-storey high Broadway Malyan's Vauxhall Tower in London.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption As one of the most nominated buildings London's Walkie Talkie had a reprieve as it is currently incomplete

The other finalists were: Chancellors' Building at University of Bath by Stride Treglown; Unite Stratford City by BDP; QN7 flats by CZWG and Gateshead's Trinity Square by 3D Reid.

BD said one of the most-nominated buildings this year was the Walkie Talkie in the City of London, but as work on it is not complete it cannot be considered until next year.

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