Competition for the Ugliest British Building is Under Way

© arcelor mittal

Business is slow; everyone is planning their Olympic journey or has fled town, so it's time to get catty. The annual Carbuncle Cup awards are a perfect opportunity for London's architectural elite to talk about each other and point fingers. It's the annual award for the worst new building of the year.

Our bets are on the ArcelorMittal Orbit tower at the Olympic Park, designed by Anish Kapoor. The £22.7 million-pound ($36.5 million) tower, which used thousands of tons of steel in its creation, is sponsored by a company that produces carbon emissions equivalent to the whole output of the Czech Republic. To add insult to injury, they are now charging £15 to climb up it.

© National Maritime Museum London

Another nominee is the new museum addition to the venerable clipper ship, the Cutty Sark. Detested by many, including TreeHugger Lloyd, it has been described as "an ineptly detailed greenhouse." It has also been called "the heartbreaking vandalism of the Cutty Sark, and Greenwich in general, in the name of witless, bungled, and unneccessary "restoration'."

Other lucky competitors in the race to the bottom include a utilitarian housing project, three black glass boxes on the Liverpool waterfront, and a library, described as a "car showroom painted tomato red".

Titanic Belfast Museum/Promo image

The last nominee is another boat-related monument, this one the Titanic Belfast Museum. The ill-fated ship was built in Belfast in the 1900's. The ship and the museum have been unkindly described as "listing to port, likely to sink imminently.”

The Carbuncle Cup is named after Prince Charles' comment that a building looked like "a monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend.”

Tags: Architects | Architecture | Buildings | London