An award to find the “ugliest new building” in the country has been handed to Manchester’s MediaCityUK - despite stiff nationwide competition from a number of challengers.
Despite having £600m lavished on it by developers Peel Holdings the complex was described as “anaemic” by judges who labelled the development as “uncreative”.
Home to the BBC and the media studies faculty of Salford University, with Granada also set to make the flit, the development was castigated for the irony of housing a creative quarter in highly uncreative buildings.
Designed by Wilkinson Eyre, Chapman Taylor and Fairhurst Design Group the buildings (and their tenants) were lambasted for a singular lack of design ambition.
Hugh Pearman, editor of the RIBA Journal and awards judge, explained, "If you're going to spend £600m on a complete city district that is also the home of one of the nation's leading cultural institutions as well as other high-profile media and university tenants then it's a bit of a shame not to pay more attention to the quality of the architecture. It would have cost very little more to make this place really special."
The scheme was also criticised by Carbuncles organiser John Glenday who said: "“If the development is disappointing from the front it is truly horrid from the rear, effectively mooning what remains of Salford with a collection of service bays towering over car parks ensnared by security fencing.”