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Saturday19 August 2017

Client: Bishopsgate Apartments LLP (a joint venture between Genesis and Telford Homes)

Carbuncle Cup nomination — Avant Garde, 34-42 Bethnal Green Road by Stock Woolstencroft

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Have your say on this year’s nominations

From the nominator: “I’m voting for that hideous monstrosity blighting the skyline off Bethnal Green Road. It’s a characterless lump, that is totally out of scale to the buildings around it.”

Stock Woolstencroft's Avant Garde

Source: Andrea Klettner

Stock Woolstencroft’s Avant Garde

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Readers' comments (20)

  • It wont be out of scale for long. You should have a look at all the planned development in that area...Say goodbye to shoerditch as you know it!

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  • agree goodbye shoerditch as is..

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  • Phwoarrr! That building really has got what it takes. It's a natural winner. Can we nominate a former winner for the cup to see if it wins again? I'm thinking of the new Cutty Sark?

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  • SomeoneStoleMyNick

    This building looks no worse than most of the other crap that's been going up lately all over the eastern parts of London. Can we just nominate the whole of Tower Hamlets and Newham as "urban carbuncles"?

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  • I was walking around Shoreditch the other day and just happened to arrive at the point where that second image was taken.

    The first time I had seen it and my heart sank, at such a depressing site.

    Not really want you want architecture to do, is it?

    Grim, f**king grim...

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  • I live near here, and pass it quite often. I don't have a problem with the size of it. The combination of the acuteness of the housing shortage in Tower Hamlets, the centrality and transport connections of the area, and the global sustainability benefits of living compactly in urban centres, means that arbitrarily limiting the sizes of buildings to that of their neighbours to be 'in keeping' doesn't make sense.

    My concerns with this scheme are more around the massing, some of the elevation treatments, and the layouts. "Breaking down the mass" always seems to be a sign that one hasn't managed to work out an acceptable design that has the courage of its convictions, and needs to be disrupted and fudged in order to reduce the horror. While I don't mind the bronzey-brown north facade, which in a nice rough concrete would almost do as brutalist, some of the others are less successful. There are some pretty strange cladding tiles on the lower bits with a swooshy patterned texture, and the brick facade to the lowest bit seems rather awkwardly proportioned, like they were aiming for a bit of the lovely Hunter Pantsnith (or whatever they're called) Bear Lane - but missed. And aren't the people living behind the unshaded fixed glazing to the south facade going to get rather hot?

    The family units in the S106 affordable housing have been unpopular with some of the residents because they don't have separate kitchens - for Bengali people with a curry-based food culture, constantly living among ones cooking smells isn't that appealing. Maybe the architects didn't have control of that though.

    I agree with Sceptical that this isn't really the worst of TH development. I went to the bit round the Town Hall at Mulberry Place for the first time in the daylight a while ago, which revealed a whole district constructed entirely from grey Trespa.

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  • Yet another thoughtless monstrosity where The City crashes carelessly into the East End; commercial expediency at it's worst!
    It also irks me how this now looms over Rich Mix and other landmarks in this area.

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  • I live round the corner, and I really hate this building. Especially the bizarre "floating" brick walls in Sclater Street. Look at the way it presents a solid, cliff-like facade to Bethnal Green Road, whilst the city side is full of glazing. It completely fails to engage with its location. And don't even get me started on the name. Is it a piss take? Yes, Hackney and Tower Hamlets have a chronic housing shortage, but is selling £1m flats to stockbrokers really going to solve that?!

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  • I didn't realise that was its name!

    It does indeed sound tastelessly sarcastic -unless of course "cheap lumpen turd" is the new "avant garde"

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  • 'its' - referring to my previous comment.

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