New leisure complex named worst ‘carbuncle’ in country
THE Redrock leisure complex in Stockport has been named the UK’s worst new building.
The sprawling development, which contains a cinema, shops, restaurants and a gym, opened in November last year and has split opinion since.
It is known for its grey and red exterior, huge multi-storey car park and patchwork cladding, which can’t be missed by drivers on the M60.
But now a panel of judges from Business Design magazine has awarded it the ‘Carbuncle Cup’ –declaring the building to be the worst in the UK.
Readers of BD magazine described the building, located near to the motorway, as an ‘absolute monstrosity’ and said they felt sorry for the people of Stockport.
It was designed by architects BDP for the council and forms part of a £1bn regeneration project taking place to transform the town.
The judges, led by BD’s editor Thomas Lane, took readers’ comments into account during the judging process, with one adding ‘I’ve seen better looking prisons’.
They objected to the ‘awkward form, disjointed massing and superficial decoration, stating the building is made up of a series of boring boxes jazzed up with arbitrary angles with the local area’. They even suggested Stockport was a ‘struggling community’.
“Urban regeneration can be a good thing,” said the judges.
“But when it becomes an excuse to foist bad architecture on to struggling communities in the cynical pursuit of an ‘anything is better than what was there before’ methodology, it simply recycles the resentment regeneration was supposed to redress.
“The fact that there are multiple examples of this kind of garish, soul-less leisure shed architecture in UK towns doesn’t let Redrock off the hook: it puts more of those responsible for our built environment in the dock.”
They added: “It’s like BDP has trodden on a piece of chewing gum and it will stick to their shoe for the next 40 years.”
Redrock beat off com- petition from the likes of Lewisham Gateway and Haydn Tower in South London, Liverpool’s Shankly Hotel and Beckley Point in Plymouth to be named the winner of the award.
Coun Kate Butler, Stockport council’s cabinet member for economy and regeneration, said: “We’re very proud of the impact Redrock has had on our local communities, exceeding all our expectations both in terms of a fantastic new leisure facility visited in its first ten months by over half a million people and the number of jobs it has created.
“The thousands of people visiting every week to enjoy food, drink, entertainment and exercise are the true measure of its huge success.”