The results are in. This year’s Carbuncle Cup winners have been announced. And our very own Museum of Liverpool has been named runner up, narrowly missing out to the monstrosity that is Media City in Manchester.
The controversial Carbuncle Cup is an architecture award, or more of an anti-award, given annually by Building Design magazine to the ugliest building in Britain, completed within the last 12 months. Previous winners include the dreadful Drake Circus in Plymouth (right) and the awful Opal Court in Leicester.
Of course, Liverpool is no stranger to Architecture’s booby prize; Pier Head Ferry Terminal won the thing in 2009. At the time ‘The Crooked House’, as its come to be affectionately known, was criticised for its location as much as its ‘quirky’ squashed-box design.
And location was the judges’ main beef with the Museum this year, too. They felt that it disgraces the Three Graces, and saw it as some sort of ugly wart on Liverpool’s waterfront. With its jaunty angles, ski-slope roof and glaring white walls, many would agree with them.
But is it really that bad? Truth is, if the Museum were situated anywhere other than docklands, where it sits like a sore thumb next to our most famous and most loved trio of bricks and mortar, it might be considered a sleek and classy building. A building that would make an elegant addition to any skyline.
As a piece of design, the Museum of Liverpool has, and always will, divide opinion. But there is one thing we can all agree on: with next-door’s Mann Island development almost complete, Liverpool has a very good chance of reclaiming its Carbuncle crown next year.