London’s Nova Victoria crowned UK’s ugliest building

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NovaImage copyright BD
Image caption Nova Victoria has won the dubious honour of being the UK’s worst new building of 2017

A London office block described as a “bright red hideous mess” has been named the UK’s worst building.

Nova Victoria, London won the 2017 Carbuncle Cup with one judge describing it as “cringe-worthy”.

It is the sixth consecutive time a London building has scooped the dubious honour run by Building Design Magazine (BD).

Architects PLP described the £380m office complex as a “distinct and architecturally daring” building.

Image copyright BD
Image caption The development is bordered by Victoria Street, Bressenden Place and Buckingham Palace Road

But judges disagreed, describing the building as “crass, over-scaled and a hideous mess”.

Judge Catherine Croft said: “It makes me want to cringe physically. It’s a crass assault on all your senses from the moment you leave the Tube station.”

David Rudlin said the red cathedral like spire on Nova South was a particular cause for concern.

“It’s got the same proportions as Salisbury Cathedral. For me the spire gives it carbuncular status – otherwise it’s just a bad building”, he said.

The development, which occupies a whole city block in London’s Victoria, consists of two office buildings designed by PLP Architecture and a residential building designed by Benson & Forsyth.

The title was awarded to PLP Architecture for the office buildings.

Image copyright BD
Image caption PLP described the £380m office complex as “distinct and architecturally daring”

The other buildings on the 2017 Carbuncle Cup shortlist were as follows:

  • Preston Railway Station Butler Street Entrance by AHR
  • Greetham Street Student Halls, Portsmouth by Cooley Architects
  • Extension on 8 Somers Road, Malvern, Worcestshire by Vivid Architects
  • Circus West, Battersea Power Station, London by Simpson Haugh
  • Park Plaza London Waterloo by ESA Architecture

Image copyright BD
Image caption Circus West, Battersea Power Station was shortlisted for the 2017 award

Building Design started the award in 2006 as a “light-hearted way of drawing attention to a serious problem – bad architecture blighting the country’s towns and cities”.

Past winners have included Liverpool’s ferry terminal, the renovation of the Cutty Sark and an apartment block incorporating a Tesco’s in Woolwich, south-east London.

Readers put forward the nominations and a panel draws up the shortlist.

PLP are yet to comment on the win.

London’s Carbuncle Cup six-year winning streak

Image copyright BD Online
Image caption Lincoln Plaza in London’s Docklands won the 2016 Carbuncle Cup with one judge describing it as a “horror show”
Image copyright AP
Image caption The Walkie Talkie (L) building won the prize in 2015
Image copyright Building Design
Image caption Woolwich Central was one of two buildings shortlisted that was developed by Tesco subsidiary Spenhill
Image copyright BD Magazine
Image caption 464 Caledonian Road stands on the same street as HMP Pentonville
Image copyright Google maps
Image caption The restoration of the Cutty Sark won the award in 2012

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