A hulking development in Woolwich made up of a Tesco and hundreds of apartments has won the Carbuncle Cup, the annual prize run by Building Design that names and shames the worst building in Britain. The scheme was designed by architect Sheppard Robson and developed by Tesco off-shoot Spenhill.
The judges of the non-coveted anti-prize labelled the building “oppressive” and “overtly militaristic, defensive, arrogant and inept”. BD editor Thomas Lane said it was: “A classic case of gross overdevelopment... It even manages to make its immediate neighbour, Greenwich council’s none-too-insubstantial town hall, and former Carbuncle Cup nominee, look like a pimple on the face of a morbidly obese bully.”
Woolwich Central, as the lumpen development is known, is made up of six blocks rising to 17 storeys with 189 flats that squat over a 7,800 sq m Tesco. It beat off competition from six other buildings on the short-list, including three in London. They were: Vauxhall Tower (a Dalek’s toilet roll); Unite Stratford City (a rusty, washed-up oil tanker); and QN7 flats at the Emirates Stadium (a set of giant blue paint pots).
The theme that connects all the flops above is that they are pumped-up, oversized buildings that seemingly care little for their surroundings and neighbours; there's hopefully a lesson in there for architects and developers in the future.