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Thursday31 July 2014

Carbuncle Cup nomination — Shard End Library, Birmingham by Idp Partnership

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Have your say on this year’s shortlist

From the nominator: “Until last week, the Birmingham suburb of Shard End was known for little more than being the birthplace of Electric Light Orchestra founder, Jeff Lynne.  Friday, however, saw the opening of the new Shard End library – a building going by the not unfamiliar name, The Shard - putting the place definitively on the map. While it has an undeniable resemblance to a car showroom painted tomato red, the building sears itself into the memory, nonetheless. And why? Because Shard End’s new library, The Shard, has a gigantic shard sticking out the end of it.  Who knew that critical regionalism could be so easy?”

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Readers' comments (10)

  • Mike Duriez

    I especially like the dog's dinner detail where the metallic shard turns into masonry at its base. Clearly it is poor architecture. But can this match the audacity of the carbuncular Stratford tower?

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  • A confused, mish-mash dressed up shed, but it doesn't quite reach Orbital levels of carbuncularism..

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  • zecks_marquise

    wow this really is turning to a classic carbuncle year

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  • orbit aside, this almost deserves it just for the wry wit of the citation

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  • Sebastian Cuff

    Definite monsterous carbuncle, what-ho, I've even seen many far better car showrooms. Splendid nomination and well done for the citation text but can something so far north beat the Orbit thingy?

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  • Alex Henderson

    This surely can't beat the Orbit.

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  • Great citation. If this is the start of a trend to add features associated with the name of the location, god help us when they design a new library for Cockfosters

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  • John, you are quite right, if this firm gets to build the new Cockfosters' library, it will be quite an erection. They certainly know how to carry out a strong vertical theme using cheap contemporary materials. Norman Foster would be a better choice.

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  • Excess of ego over imagination!

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  • Grim. As noted by John, design driven by place name is the most childish and bizarre concept (if you're not a child) ever. Roll on the twin carapaces in Arsenal, the milky mounds of Bristol and the giant glass hall in Crystal Palace (oh, they've done that one).

    And as for Pratt's Bottom...

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