New leisure com­plex named worst ‘car­bun­cle’ in coun­try

Glossop Advertiser - - News - Alexan­dra Rucki

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.”

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