Saturday05 September 2015

Client: University College London

Carbuncle Cup nomination — 465 Caledonian Road, London by Stephen George & Partners

  • Email
  • Comments (53)
  • Save

Have your say on this year’s nominations


Caledonian Road facade retention image by Kieran Long

Source: Kieran Long

Caledonian Road facade retention image

465 Caledonian Road carbuncle cup nomination reader's picture

465 Caledonian Road - reader’s picture

465 Caledonian Road visualisation

465 Caledonian Road visualisation


From the nominators:

“I walked past this almost finished building last week and spotted a clear carbuncle. The original building is the Mallett, Porter and Dowd Ltd Building on Caledonian Road in the London Bourough of Islington. It features in Pevsner’s Buidings of England (p.698 London 4: North 1998 ed.) and dates from 1874.

“This is a façade retention of a historic warehouse with a carbuncular twist. It seems the monumental masonry façade did not work with the horizontal and vertical cell module of optimised student housing. Thus the new façade is set behind the retained façade to allow it to take the most economical form, ignoring the existing facade. The historic facade is propped a few feet off an econo-curtain wall. This nasty detail gives a new meaning to “shadow gap” – more emphasis on shadow, less emphasis on gap. It is not clear which rooms if any align with the warehouse windows. The inmates living behind the massive masonry ruin will acutely feel the heritage of the retained wall, but it is not clear they will be able to see out. Perhaps the architects were influenced by the historic Pentonville Prison down the road.” 

“It is one of the worst facade retention schemes that I have seen. The lack of any meaningful relationship between the retained facade and the new build behind is embarrassing. The addition of an extra storey to the retained facade ruins its proportions. The building behind is a lumpen student accommodation scheme with terribly detailed cladding, but there are many such schemes. The crassness of the relationship between new and old takes this scheme to beyond bad.”

This project was intially refused planning by Islington Council, but won on appeal - read the appeal decision document. Read the original refusal.

Further project details on developers website - mortardevelopments.co.uk


Readers' comments (53)

  • The winner!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • SomeoneStoleMyNick

    Come on now, we can't have Stephen George & Partners winning every year !

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Definitely the front runner this year

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I am seriously considering changing bus route into town to avoid this monstrosity. How can Stephen George and his partners in crime sleep at night!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Nick Pocock

    like some kind of inglorious poacher wearing the pelt of an endangered lion

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • That is staggeringly bad and a crime against architecture.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Thomas Corrie


    Judging by Google Streetview they have even seen fit to add an additional unmatching storey to the retained facade (not shown in the visualisation).

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • A good few years ago I was looking at a site near this, and going through the recent planning applications for Market Road / Caledonian Road and was instantly depressed. It was clear even then this would be a bloody mess.

    Unfortunately this isn't the only hideous student housing scheme in the area, though it is definitely the pick of the bunch. Who'd have thought I'd be longing for the usual brick slips of student housing? Terrible terrible terrible.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Truly awful. A crime against good architecture and a crime against conservation. What a cop out.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • But the whole caledonian road is carbuncular so they were very contextual in their solution.....fantastico!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 per page | 20 per page | 50 per page

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

sign in register
  • Email
  • Comments (53)
  • Save
Sign in

Email Newsletters

Sign out to login as another user

I'm searching for in
Desktop Site | Mobile Site