Monday, 10 August 2009

Building Design's 2009 Carbuncle Cup Nominations. Two Entries for Liverpool

BD magazine, the Architects Weekly have had a lot of nominations for this years Carbuncle Cup. Liverpool is in the unfortunate situation of having two nominations for this years Carbuncle.
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.
The architect, if that's what you would wish to call him did not even visit the city. He couldn't have done as he would have had to think how it would look from the Albert Dock, the biggest group of Grade I listed buildings in the country and a World Heritage Site. What a mess. Click on the link below to see this years nominations.

Less than half a mile away is the Terminal Ferry Building nominated by David Swift. It has to be a close run thing between these two monsters. If you would have told me you could build a worse building then the old Bernie's Inn, The Shanghai Palace, I would have declared it couldn't be done. Well they did it. What an achievement...only its the wrong achievment for sure. The World Heritage Site has been despoiled, in such a way that it is akin to giving a pretty girl a black eye. The Ferry Terminal is a perfect match to the new museum, which could well be next years nomination for the carbuncle cup, if they ever finish it. Oh hang on there is some big competition with the Three Grotesques at Mann Island. So Warren Bradley tells us that Prince Charles told him that he supports Liverpool's regeneration...well can you believe that. It seems the architectural profession don't quite agree.


  1. It seems the One Parked Without The People's Say-so monstrosity is struggling in the current climate to attract buyers & even potential renters. It's knocked its prices down by 10% ( ).


    here is one we did earlier

  3. Holy crap! Our two may not win! There's some seriously awful competition out there. I'm forcibly struck by that Poundbury fire station, so forcibly in fact that my sides are aching.

    I'm all for a bit of novelty in architectural. But why do so many new buildings look as if they were designed for downtown Bucarest under Ceaucescu? And if the style's not neo-penal, it's neo-Tesco. Pitiful stuff.

  4. One Park West in an excellent building, or would have been if heritage loons had not ruined its elegant profile by lopping several storeys off its roof, resulting in those extra units being added to the building's lower block.

    Wayne hates all new buildings, good or otherwise. In fact, it seem to be he who has done his best to get two Liverpool buildings on this "list of shame". Thanks Wayne. A look at the list shows how bad buildings can be. These two aren't. Wayne simply hates the fact that they are new and have been built in Liverpool.

    The loon.

  5. You see that is where another anonymoos (cant people put their name to thier comments, what are they scared of) gets it wrong. If you had of known the history of this site or read this blog you will have noted that the master plan was for Chavasse Park was for a 12 storey building and the rubbish about concerned citizens having the building reduced has been sold to you, spoon fed in fact, like a little baby, by the press agents that inform you what they want you to understand.
    I think you would be aware, whoever you are, that I am an exponent of modern architecture and modernism and good buildings but you are still not understanding that Le Corbusier died a long time ago.

  6. I can't understand why Liverpool only has two entries, are we hiding our new and modern (sic) architecture ? Come on Scousers, let's have some more nominations to make sure we win the prize, there are plenty of grotty buildings left to choose from ! Liverpool - Capital of Crap Architecture 2009 has a nice ring to it...

  7. Yes Wayne, an early masterplan for the entire PSDA site contained a 12-storey building on the OPW site. This illustrative plan was developed by BDP as a framework, into which individual buildings would fit. And, of course, as the scheme evolved as actual buildings were designed, the overall layout of the development and the plans for these individual buildings evolved.

    When later individual buildings were designed for PSDA, Brock Carmichael/Pelli were commissioned to design a larger building. The design submitted to Liverpool city council was for a 22-storey building. This is the only design ever submitted for this site. It was Liverpool planning office then made Grosvenor and their architects come back with an stumpier and less elegant version of the same design. You'd have hated the building at 17- or 22-storeys, but the taller version was much more attractive.

    In this case, taller would have been better, not worse.

    You mentioned Larry Neild? Here he is on the building: "The 17-storey building was originally scheduled to be taller, but following talks with heritage agencies, the height was reduced to ensure it did not conflict with the World Heritage Site."


    Up to speed yet Wayne?

    Your more general claim that you like modern architecture and modernism would be more believable if on your blog here (and it is your blog isn't it? Just how many member does this "Liverpool Preservation Trust" have? Can one have an application form?) you didn't attack every single new building, good or bad, that is built in Liverpool. You hate all of them and praise none.

    Why not keep to what you are good at, highlighting historic buildings under threat? Not attacking any new buildings being built in the entire city. In fact, it only through an economic revival, which will inevitably result in new buildings in the city centre and a fully and more vibrant Liverpool that the city's built heritage can be saved. The entire building stock cannot be sustained by grants. Buildings will be saved when they are full of businesses and residents in vibrant city districts. The sort you get in successful cities full of new as well as great old buildings. Not like in Liverpool were we still have several vacant WWII bomb sites in the CBD*.

    *Although no longer in the shopping area and the south end of the city centre in general, where several where built on by Grosevor as part of the PSDA, just one of the happy consequences of Liverpool One.

  8. I nearly never published another anonymous comment as it far too is easy for anyone to hide behind anonimity and be clever without admitting who you are.
    I am always happy to represent the views of collegues of mine whose views I share and feel better for not having to hide. Otherwise we would be the Merseyside Civic Society whose regular meetings of once a month are often attended by three people. Yes the masterplan for Chavasse park said a 12 Storey building for Chavasse Park. So why was it increased to thats what its about really and how to swing it through the planners. Just before the so called tall buildings policy was scrapped by the City Council to facilitate this structure. You cant spoon feed me I am sorry I see how the politics work..
    The Hilton next door is 12 storeys and just about gets away with it, may have been better as eight. I entered a RIBA competition for the site in 1995 as part of Liverpools nomination for City of Architecture which Glasgow came out better, this was for Modern Architecture.
    You know the argument is not old or new it is good or bad and the Cesar Pelli is a bad building and thats why its nominated for Carbuncle cup.
    As far as believing Larry Neild I would rather not as he is part of the PR establishment working for October Communications PR for Neptune Developments, they of the three grotesques. He has sold himself pun intended.
    As far as being up to speed. I was at the planning committee meeting when Trevor Skempton was called by Rod Holmes after objectors who had laughed when he said this building pays hommage to the classical orders. It is you isnt it Trevor....or whoever it is you would gain some respect by not hiding and speaking up to your views and arguing them out in the big world.

  9. I don't see how Building Design magazine can be criticised for selecting One Park West as an example of bad architecture. Apparently it made the short list against a lot of competition from other carbuncles around the country. No amount of counter publicity can change the facts - the competition is for NEW buildings which offend the eye, and this one fits the bill.

  10. Esther, One Park West has been selected by BD becuase Wayne nominated it. Cheers Wayne!

    And why Wayne wants tiny Lilliputian buildings in Liverpool is beyond me. There can't be anywhere in Liverpool more suited to buildings on a large, urban scale than the Strand.

    In fact, Liverpool when successful, always built big. Wayne's beloved RLB was enormous in its day, an early skyscraper, and the Waynes of that era hated it. If Liverpool had been more success in the C20th, it would have heaps more tall buildings than it now now.

    Wayne's attacting the developers of OPW for wanting to make money is also bizarre. That's what developers do. And our cities get buildings out of it. Sometimes good ones like OPW. Most of the great historic buildings in Liverpool was also built by private concerns wishing to make money. Is Wayne a communist? Who else is going to build things? Weird.

  11. Henry the nonesense about the Liver Buildings being hated in their day is garbage, and is stuff spead, in fact, spoon fed to the public by the PR companies to justify the mess they are creating and pretend that the new buildings are suffering a unfair opinion and will grow on us. Why are you bringing the Liver Buildings into disrepute, isnt that like shooting yourself in the foot. Are you not proud as I am, or was of my waterfront.
    Unesco have let us down but in their wisdom they asked that prescribed heights be instated after Mike Storey, Warren Bradley and the criminal Steve Hurst as Execuctive Council Members relaxed the tall building rules to facilitate the awfull backdrop to our Iconic waterfront.
    I am attacking the developers of ONE PARK WORST for building us a carbuncle that I could have designed on the back of a ciggy packet in the time its taken me to write this.
    This has to be a monument to greed.....There is no accounting for taste and I said to Paul Du Noyer if it was a song it would be Agadoo....yes its that bad....and what PR company is Henry working for? as in my opinion anyone who puts this building down as a Triumph in a World Heritage Site must have an interest in my opinion or a white stick.

  12. Henry, One Park West will have been selected by BD on its own merits. They had many, many more nominations from around the country. The panel wouldn't be swayed by the name of the submitter. Anyway, One Park West will probably come second to the truly awful Ferry Terminal. This is a PR disaster for Liverpool. Bu don't shoot the messenger, get on to the Planning Committee who allow these carbuncles to be built in the first place.

  13. Panel. BD is a magazine. A couple of journoes will have come up with the list based on whatever nominations they received. I'm unsure of why you think you know how many nominations they did get. Wayne's nomination, typically, for one of the better recent buildings built in Liverpool (he's right about some others, such as the breeze block horror on Skelhorne St, although at least that is now several years old), appears to have been given greater weight than it deserves because he calls himself the Liverpool Preservation Trust. He's really only one man, with some eccentric opinions. His opinion isn't any more or less important than many other people.

    It's predicable that yet again, Wayne is unable to deal with someone who doesn't agree with and and accuses yet another person of having a hidden agenda.

    I love the RLB but its enormous and brash, and, when it was built terrifically modern. It was thought of as a monster back in the day. Just look at the thing, consider its scale. The Italinate Cunard and the C20th Palladium kitsch of the PoL building are tradition in style, although themselves pretty substantial buildings in size. The RLB is not, however. It's a gloriously tasteless monster of a sort that no other city in Britain has. Its got two massive chickens on its roof for a start. Mental! If Liverpool's economy hadn't have stalled further monster-sized buildings would have been built to the north and south of the existing Pier Head ensemble (no way am I gonna talk about "three graces" -- I'm not Trevor Jones!). Liverpool would have now have tall building in the international as well as older styles. Like New York -- like a successful city. The sort of city Liverpool is, which it why the architecture of its heyday is on such an massive scale.

    Quite why Wayne thinks that Liverpool is Winchester or Durham is yet again, beyond me.

  14. Henry (if thats your name) it would be of great interest, because of your vocal approach to consider exactly who you are and whose opinions you are representing. Of course you are entitled to your opinion, I do not mind debate, we dont mind provocation, but this is architectural debate we are looking for not the trashy Liverpool Confidential stuff so please bear that in mind while contributing.
    As for all the stuff about the LPT you just appear to be another one who is worried because we do not accept the spoon feeding from the PR plods. Do you really think one person can do this amount of work.
    Oh by the way in your attempts to have a faceless go at me personally ( If you want public debate set it up and lets see what you are made of........ Henry).
    You have failed to mention or understand that Liverpool has two nominations for BDs Carbuncle Cup. The other being the horrendous Ferry Terminal building next to the new concrete culvert at the Pier Head. How come there were two nominations and you seem insistant on concentrating on one? And wait till next year with the Three Grotesques and the new museum coming into play.
    We had a blank canvass and the planners have allowed or contibuted to a sprawling urban mess get used to the opinions coming thick and fast from the architectural fraternity.
    and not a comment from me.

  15. Henry - from Building Design magazine :-
    "This year's BD has been deluged with entries for the title of the worst new building in the UK, with over 20 buildings nominated for the 2009 Carbuncle Cup.
    The winner will be decided by a panel of expert judges in the autumn".
    I think we should be discussing this and not the exising waterfront buildings, which are 100 years old and not under consideration.