One of two Liverpool buildings could be named as “the most hideous new building completed in the UK in the last 12 months”, according to the architect website Building Design.
The nominations of Grosvenor’s One Park West and Merseytravel’s new Ferry Terminal, made earlier this month, has caused a fair amount of media attention in the North West and reaction.
Both have been nominated into this year’s Carbuncle Cup, which is organised by BD and now in its third year, and both join another eight buildings in a ‘longlist’.
Liverpool Preservation Trust, founded by Wayne Colquhoun, nominated Grosvenor’s apartment block into the ‘prize’.
Designed by architect practice Cesar Pelli, which has been renamed Pelli Clarke Pelli, One Park West is one of the many new buildings Grosvenor integrated into its 42-acre £1bn regeneration project for the city centre, known as Liverpool One.
The Liverpool One masterplan was led by architecture and urban design practice BDP’s Liverpool studio, which has been nominated this year for the biggest architect prize of all – the RIBA Stirling Prize.
Building Design Magazine describes The Carbuncle Cup as “the Stirling Prize what the Golden Raspberries are to the Oscars.”
Opinion about One Park West is certainly divided. Explaining its reason for the nomination on its blog, Liverpool Preservation Trust said: “LPT nominated the horrendous One Park “Gone” West as a crime against architecture the building they, promised us would be Ichonic and it turns out Ichronic. Grosvenor promised us a building by a world class architect, a Cesar Pelli…….and they give us a Cesar Salad.”
Ignoring the misspelling and play on the word chronic, we get the point made by LPT. They basically don’t like the building or the architect firm behind it. In the building’s defence, Guy Butler, a senior development manager at Grosvenor, was quoted on the BD website saying: “Love it or hate it, One Park West is here to stay and I’m proud to say will continue to provoke debate for many years to come as any landmark building should.”
Butler was speaking prior to a specially arranged ‘hug’ of One Park West which had taken place on Wednesday this week, when people from Liverpool or those in the city at the time showed their support for the potential worst new building in the UK by holding hands to create a human chain around it.
No such form of support has yet been shown for Liverpool’s new Ferry Terminal nearby at the Pier Head.
Merseytravel’s three-storey waterfront building – which houses a ferry terminal on the ground floor, a Beatles’ museum on the second and a restaurant on the roof – has also caused some to dislike its existence and with some passion.
Designed by Belfast-based Hamilton Architects, the building sits in a UNESCO world heritage site opposite the city’s Three Graces and cost in the region of £9.5m and £10.5m to design and construct.
Nominating the building into the Carbuncle Cup is a David Swift, who said it was “bad enough in isolation but alongside the classic listed buildings it sticks out like a sore thumb.”
LPT added: “The World Heritage Site has been despoiled, in such a way that it is akin to giving a pretty girl a black eye.”
Strong words indeed. So what do I think? Out of the ten included in the BD ‘longlist’ I do not think either is the worst. The collector of this prize should be the University of Nottingham Jubilee Campus by architects Make. What were they thinking? It’s like a slab of bad cheese.
But prizes, awards, competitions, whatever you want to call them, are something I take very lightly. I sometimes wonder if there is an award for the ‘best award ceremony’ because there are that many of them.
The winner of the Carbuncle Cup is being decided by, BD says on its website, “a panel of expert judges”.
An announcement will be made later in the month.
The full Carbuncle Cup 2009 ‘longlist’ includes:
One Park West
Architect: Pelli Clarke Pelli
Location: Chavasse Park, Liverpool
Architect: Allan Murray Architects
Westfield Shopping Centre
Architect: Westfield in-house team
Location: Shepherd’s Bush, London
University of Nottingham Jubilee Campus
Poundbury Fire Station
Design inspired by: Prince Charles
Location: Poundbury, Dorset
Liverpool Ferry Terminal
Architect: Hamilton Architects
Location: Liverpool Pier Head
Queen Margaret University campus
Architect: Dyer Associates
Location: East Lothian, Scotland
Shrewsbury Theatre Severn
Architect: Austin Smith Lord
Location: Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury
Woodlands Manor mixed-use block
Architect: Coogan and Co
Architect: Halliday Fraser Munro