Greenwich lifts Carbuncle Cup for the second time

For those who wish Lewisham would pool its sovereignty with Greenwich - a cautionary tale. Woolwich Central, which is essentially a giant Tesco hovering above a car park in the middle of town, has won the Carbuncle Cup - making it two wins in three years for the borough after the Cutty Sark restoration won in 2012.

The judges for the award, which is designed to highlight bad architecture, said of the building:

"Some truly diabolical cladding and a massing strategy that seems to have been directly inspired by the 1948 Berlin blockade; we can only hope that residential leases come with free airlift."

The Carbuncle judges are always wrong - picking on ambitious, high-profile (usually London) projects, rather than the mundane, sheepish dross that ruins our streetscapes. And while this
is a terrible, ludicrous building which looks like it needs the stickers to be peeled off, the pity of it is that the square that Woolwich Central adjoins is a very nice bit of urban landscaping and - together - the two developments have given a shot in the arm to Woolwich town centre.

Away from the square and the superstore, the long, slow death of Woolwich shopping precinct continues, waiting for the arrival of Crossrail to deliver a reversal of fortune.

7 comments:

Headhunter said...

I don't get the tone of your article - do you like this "carbuncle" or are you saying it helps Woolwich? Greenwich BC certainly has an awful reputation for allowing nasty developments through....

Headhunter said...

I was wondering whether now would be a good time to buy an investment flat in Woolwich given its future rail links... However I've never been there, is it that bad?

Ala Skrakowski said...

One word: don't.

Ella said...

I did a viewing there and actually thought it was amazing and super covenient. It's 5 mins from the station and your flat is above a massive tesco. There's also a sort of rooftop courtyard thing within the building itself. I was gutted when my rental plans didn't work out. I don't know if I would buy there to live but definitely a sensible buy-to-let investment. The carbuncle cup comments are hillarious and there's an element of truth to it. But it really is not as bad as they made it sound!

Brockley Nick said...

1. I think it is undeniably ugly and worthy of the shortlist on that basis
2. I think Greenwich planning department lets through some real shockers, as any trip along Trafalgar Road / Woolwich Road would confirm
3. I think there are uglier buildings than it on the shortlist and I dislike the judges' tendency to pick headline-grabbing projects, rather than the smaller, crapper stuff
4. I think that form is not the only measure of a building. Despite its ugly appearance, this building has actually been good for Woolwich and its a pity that the judges don't appear to consider that

Vitruvius said...

form, fitness & function!

Headhunter said...

Hmmm... they probably pick headline buildings for the publicity, and perhaps for them big is bad!


Yes there are some shockers in Greenwich Borough - that whole bunch of chain restaurants they allowed slap on the waterfront in front of part of the old Royal Naval College and the Cutty Sark was ridiculous! Right in front of the view of the river...


They also overruled Lewisham a year or so ago on a development on the mews in Brockley. Lewisham BC had already rejected an application to build along Wickham Mews, following what neighbours wanted, but the applicant appealed and the case ended up in front a committee in Greenwich who allowed it - flying completely in the face of Lewisham's conservation area guidelines and what the people actually living nearby wanted....

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