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Friday25 July 2014

Carbuncle Cup nomination — The Prince’s Foundation’s Natural House

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Have your say on this year’s shortlist

From the nominator:

“I think that attempt to synthesise old fashioned design ideas and appearance with the need to use modern materials and constructions has not succeeded.

The roof being black and at an unusually high pitch and with such a large overhang is far too dominant and dark a feature, giving a rather unwelcoming and cold appearance to the building. This is emphasised by the black soffite and black strip at the top of the wall.

The white rendered walls whilst oft beloved by architects do not necessarily fare well in the British climate. In most “traditional” buildings the render is a softer colour, and the surfaces are broken to prevent staining.

The black window frames and lack of glazing bars make black soulless holes into the house, a feature more typical of low quality spec office buildings. Again “traditional” architecture would have at least meant white, or a paler coloured frame, and at least one glazing bar.

The few minor “classical’ details such as the column heads are an almost meaningless sop to the idea of “traditional” architecture, whatever that is.”

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Readers' comments (21)

  • A new "Laugier Originals" primitive-hut/primitive-semi collection for a primitive client? Although architecturally lacking on many fronts, it lacks the monumental scale of a true carbuncle.

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  • I wouldn't say this is hideous, just dismal and sad.

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  • Mike Duriez

    Yes. Tragic Econo-Voysey, yes, but truely hideous, no.

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  • I think the middle picture with the house set in a forest with gravel all around it is actually really quite funny and a bit horrific at the same time. It looks like one of those pictures of famous houses where a well known murderer grew up or something.

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  • Alisa Selezneva

    I'm quite indifferent to this project, but I don't understand why its considered to be so horrible. I guess its because of HRH connection and over the top publicity? There are literally hundreds and hundreds of much worse buildings going up all over the country every week...

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  • I'm afraid that this is a fairly pointless nomination. There are numerous worse offenders and it does rather come across as a disgruntled architect having an arbitrary poke at The Prince's Foundation. Common sense will see it edited out when the shortlist appears.

    Next step will be to nominate Gove's bathroom extension solely because it was commissioned by Gove.

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  • Very uninspiring indeed!

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  • Alex Henderson

    This hasn't got a patch on The Orbit.

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  • Can I nominate the Prince of Wales himself for being primitve, retrograde, kitsch, naff, and brainless all at the same time?

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  • Sebastian Cuff

    The poor old Prince's Institution should not be mocked. Part of the Great British Carbuncle Culture, n'est pas? And he was the first man to think of Carbuncles! Just because QT didn't do this one doesn't mean it is not good at all. And I must say I would have been darned bad luck if the new VAT on new mobile homes had come in at 20%. Those rotters at HMRC cannot tell a neo-Classical eco-home from a caravan, I would dare say!

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