Carbuncle Cup citation: Media City by Fairhursts, Chapman Taylor and Wilkinson Eyre
“For an organisation with high cultural aspirations it is hard to see how the BBC could have sunk much lower”
The full citation:
“When Howard Bernstein the leader of Manchester city council was told Salford had won the bid to build a new HQ for the BBC, he cried.
“Bernstein bitterly resented losing the BBC to neighboring Salford, but now it’s built there are other reasons to weep.
“The buildings have been arranged to give the impression of a corporate cityscape which could be anywhere in the world. For an organization with high cultural aspirations it is hard to see how the BBC could have sunk much lower.
“It’s not really a case of singling out one building as being worse than another -the 15 storey dun coloured hotel and its twin are some of the grimmest– but the main BBC building is not much better.
“It’s as if the developer asked ‘what’s the best way of crushing the spirit of those people who are going to live and work here? And someone else said ‘I know let’s hire Fairhursts and Chapman Taylor’. And helped by a planning authority which allow anything to be built (look at the rest of Salford) they’ve been utterly successful. Even the attempt at some feeble architectural gesture, like a horrible jazzy pattern on one of the commercial towers, and a canopy in the middle of the site (purpose unclear) marked by giant flag poles, seems like a cruel joke.
“You can’t visit Media City without remarking on the anti ram raid road blockers which negate some fairly decent no expense spared landscaping, But there’s another way at looking at the decision to spend quite so much on trees and plants– which is to hide something. But don’t let it fool you.”