Congratulations / commiserations to Liverpool, whose World Heritage Site is now officially blighted by the Building Design Carbuncle Cup Winner 2009, the Ferry Terminal and Beatles Museum by Hamilton Architects, Belfast.
“It is such an amazing site, directly in front of the Three Graces, but the architects seem barely to have noticed. It is like letting a bad second-year student build next to St Peter’s,” said the judges despairingly.
“This is bad patronage by an ignorant council which thinks having jazzy architecture is putting the city on the map again.”
Completed this summer by Hamilton Architects (not to be confused with Hamiltons) the £9.5 million building incorporates ferry operations, a Beatles museum and a rooftop restaurant. It is cantilevered on two sides and clad in limestone to complement the new Liverpool Museum next door.
“The architect evidently once looked at a Zaha building in a magazine,” said the judges. “It is essentially a horrible sectional idea that has been extruded like a stick of rock. The long elevations couldn’t be more tedious, the Dr Caligari end facades no more grotesque. When you go there you think: oh no, I can’t believe they’ve done that.”
Above are photos taken by me in February this year, when it was still under construction.
For the full report and the ten shortlisted buildings, all of them grim in their own way, read more here:
In my view Liverpool is now such an architectural mess, particularly the waterfront, that all involved at the council and English Heritics, which surely could have tried to protect this UNESCO World Heritage Site from the worst of the aesthetic awfulness, should now be pushed into the Mersey with boots of the concrete of which they are so fond.
A web album of shots from a misty morning in February 2009 - click on pic to open.
More pictures here, putting the building in its context (yikes):
BD Podcast, including discussion of the Carbuncle Cup: