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The results are in on Britain’s ugliest building...

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Kayleigh Dray
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It’s the architect’s equivalent of winning a Razzie Award – a dubious accolade that calls you out for being the worst of a bad lot.

And now the winner of this year’s Carbuncle Cup, aka the UK's worst designed building, has been confirmed by architecture site BD

The so-called eyesore is nestled in one of London's most prestigious, up-and-coming areas, offering "luxurious housing" for people who want to get the most out of life in the city.

Have you guessed the culprit yet?

That's right; it's none other than Lincoln Plaza, a complex comprised of two towers, a hotel, and a round building in London’s Docklands.



Ike Ijeh, one of the architects on the judging panel, didn’t mince his words when asked to explain why they had forced the 2016 Carbuncle Cup into the hands of Lincoln Plaza’s designers.

Describing it as a “putrid, pugilistic horror show that should never have been built”, he wrote: “This building is the architectural embodiment of sea sickness, waves of nausea frozen in sheaths of glass and coloured aluminium that, when stared at for too long, summon queasiness, discomfort and, if you’re really unlucky, a reappearance of lunch as inevitably as puddles after a rainstorm.”

Ijeh added: “It exhibits the absolute worst in shambolic architectural design and cheap gimmickry.”

Lincoln Plaza was designed by London-based BUJ Architects for Galliard Homes – and Ijeh has made it clear that he isn't a fan of much of their work.

“[They] form for architectural atrocities such as these and the developer is rapidly turning itself into a serial visual nuisance in London,” he said.

However, despite earning a place in the Carbuncle Cup halls of fame, Galliard Homes have remain proud of Lincoln Plaza – which they describe on their website as a “striking new landmark against Canary Wharf’s dazzling architecture.”

They go on to add: “Offering breathtaking views, first class facilities, and superlative living accommodation in a location of international status, Lincoln Plaza is set to provide one of the most prestigious and sophisticated new landmarks on Canary Wharf’s iconic skyline.”



In regards to their newfound Carbuncle status, Galliard Homes have insisted that everything is a matter of personal taste – and that the “scheme sold out to buyers, so clearly the project is liked by purchasers.”

They added to the BBC: "Architectural design is art, and like all art, a matter of personal tastes. Each project the company delivers is bespoke and distinctive and the company has built a strong reputation for rapidly selling out."

Remaining three-bedroom flats in the “Jenga-like” skyscraper are on sale at £795,000.

Lincoln Plaza beat five other buildings nominated for the 2016 Carbuncle Cup Shortlist, which included:

  • Saffron Square, a residential development in Croydon, South London
  • The Diamond, an engineering block at the University of Sheffield
  • One Smithfield, Stoke-on-Trent Council’s new offices
  • Poole Methodist Church extension
  • 5 Broadgate, Swiss Bank UBS’s HQ in London

While they walked away from officially being named Britain’s ugliest building, all of those who made the shortlist have been described as "superlative examples of unreservedly bad architecture."

Below: The Diamond, 5 Broadgate, and Saffron Square

The Diamond was likened to a hydroelectric plant, while 5 Broadgate was accused of being nothing more than a "mute steel fortress" and "a flak tower that gives nothing back to the city".

Saffron Square, meanwhile, was said to have a “car crash of a façade” – strong words, as we’re sure you’ll agree.

Poole Methodist Church's extension (see above) was likened to an  "unimaginative grey box", while One Smithfield (below) was said to be an example of what happens when "colour goes rogue".

It's an "aesthetic mutation between the nostalgic 1980s brain games of Connect 4 and Blockbusters", claimed the judging panel.



Lincoln Plaza inherits the title of Britain’s worst building from the disastrous Walkie Talkie (yes, the very same building that reflected the sun's rays so strongly it melted parts of parked cars nearby), which won the Carbuncle Cup in 2015.

It is the fifth year in a row that a London building has won the award.

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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