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Revealed: UK’s ugliest new building is in Holloway

PUBLISHED: 17:33 29 August 2013 | UPDATED: 17:43 29 August 2013

The ugliest new building in London, a panel have judged

The ugliest new building in London, a panel have judged

Gareth Gardner

The ugliest new building in the UK is in Holloway, a expert panel have judged.

A multi-million pound block of student accommodation in Caledonian Road, just next to the Tube Station, was voted first prize in the Carbuncle Cup - a dubious honour bestowed each year architect magazine Building Design (BD).

The block, a halls of residence for University College London (UCL), retains the original brick warehouse facade, but the publication said this was a cynical gesture towards preservation.

They describe it as not only ugly, but not even remotely fit for human occupation with the majority of rooms lacking adequate daylight, little privacy some with no direct view outside at all.

Ellis Woodman, executive editor of BD and one of the judges, said: “There is no small irony in the fact that the building stands on the same street as HMP Pentonville.

“As the first intake of students move into their dark and far from private rooms next month, they might be forgiven for wondering why the prisoners have been provided with the better view.”

Planning permission for the part eight, part 11 storey block were initially refused by Islington Council but the Planning Inspector overturned that decision on appeal, allowing building to go ahead.

Cllr Paul Convery, who chaired the Islington Council committee which turned down the planning application, said: “We refused planning permission for reasons including the poor quality of the design, and the poor quality of amenity for students.

“We were very disappointed that the Government Inspector overturned the council’s decision and granted planning permission for this building.”

A spokesman from the university described the new 350 bed accommodation as “good news for UCL and our students, given the obvious challenge universities in the capital face in providing accommodation for students close to the campus”.

He added: “We are happy with the outcome [of the building]. The final design complies with all necessary planning regulations in respect of outlook, amenity and natural daylight.”


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