'Carbuncle Cup' identifies Britain's ugliest building

Sarah Coles
Woolwich Central housing development
Woolwich Central housing development



The Woolwich Central complex, which is home to an enormous Tesco and 189 flats, has been named as the UK's worst new building.

It received the title from Building Design Magazine, who handed over the Carbuncle Cup. There's a chance that it might just make selling the flats slightly harder.

The BBC reported that one judge described the building as "oppressive, defensive, arrogant and inept". Aside from its appearance, one of the issues the judges raised was the sheer scale of the development, which contains 189 flats in interconnected blocks, rising to 17 storeys, over a 7,800 square metre supermarket.

Editor Thomas Lane added: "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."

Greenwich Council's former head of planning Alex Grant, who agreed to the building in 2007, wrote in his blog: "It may not be a carbuncle but it is a flawed project and I regret my role as its midwife."

The architects of the project, meanwhile, came to its defence. Sheppard Robson told the BBC: "The aim was to create a cohesive piece of strong architecture that unlocked this vast space and establish a desirable place to live. 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."

Flats for sale
The award may make it marginally more difficult to sell some of the flats that remain on the market. Savills is currently marketing some three bedroom flats in the development for between £404,000 and £441,000. Most are being marketed with artists impressions - including an attractive drawing of the exterior. There's also a one-bedroom flat on the market for £286,000 - again being marketed with artists impressions

Others have been completed and reveal a stylish and fairly compact interior - perhaps unsurprisingly some have chosen not to include exterior shots on their Rightmove adverts.

The developers have thrown in a five year membership to Zipcars to clinch the deal, and highlight just how easy it is to get to the enormous 24-hour supermarket. The question is whether it will be enough to persuade buyers.

Would you live there?

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