Redcar Beacon, which welcomed its 100,000th visitor less than four months after opening, was shortlisted in the Carbuncle Cup, which aims to select the worst architectural projects in the UK.
The £1.6m beacon, centrepiece of a multi-million pound regeneration programme, was one of six nominations.
But the unenviable title was awarded to a student accommodation building in London.
Architecture’s wooden spoon for worst new building went to 465 Caledonian Road, which is said to offer “a prison-like experience for student residents”.
The winner of the annual prize, a humorous counterpart to the prestigious Stirling Prize for architecture, was unveiled by Building Design magazine.
Revealing the results, it noted: “One might imagine that an upside of our recent economic woes would be that fewer terrible buildings would be built.
“But to judge by the slew of nominations received for this year’s Carbuncle Cup, this hardly appears to be the case.
“Our jurors quickly identified two front-runners, but all six nominations richly deserved their shortlisting.”
They pulled no punches about any of the shortlisted buildings, including Redcar’s newest attraction.
This is what they had to say about the 80ft beacon, formerly known as the Vertical Pier: “Fresh from knocking down its best 20th century building – Ahrends Burton & Koralek’s 1971 Central Library – the Cleveland seaside town of Redcar played another blinder in the form of the Redcar Beacon.
Resembling nothing so much as the ArcelorMittal Orbit reinterpreted by a five-year-old in the medium of toilet roll and chicken wire, this viewing tower was inexplicably the winner of a RIBA competition.
Designed by Seven Architecture with project team leader Smeeden Foreman, it stands on the seafront and, as tends to be the way, the view from the top is lovely.”
Redcar Beacon, the centrepiece of a £75m regeneration programme, opened in March.
It’s been a hit with visitors, but there has been criticism of the cost and calls for a traditional pier instead.
Article from Gazette Live