Vox Pop

The Royal Institute of British Architects and Channel 4 have joined forces to dynamite what viewers consider to be the UK’s worst building. If you had this power in design, what would you commit to the scrap heap and why?

‘If I were given that ultimate luxury experience of pushing the dynamite plunger it would undoubtedly be the Tower Thistle Hotel next to Tower Bridge. Built in a sort of ziggurat pyramid style (presumably to avoid casting a shadow over the surrounding area) unbelievably it apparently has an English Heritage preservation order too. Its destruction would offer some much needed open space to the area.’

Sebastian Conran, Creative director, Conran & Partners

‘Terminal 3 (Arrivals) Heathrow. A depressing gateway to London – low ceilings, nasty lighting and grubby carpets everywhere. Thousands of people pass through each day and carpet is not a good surface (it’s like putting wall-to-wall in your toilet – just don’t do it). When you get out, don’t look back, it’s not a pretty sight. Airports elsewhere soar, inspire and gleam with efficiency – Hamburg, Stockholm, Charles de Gaulle. Terminal 3? Reach for the dynamite.’

Keren House, Creative director, Aricot Vert

‘The Virgin brand. Every time I’ve experienced a Virgin product or service I have been disappointed. But what I really dislike are the smutty, self-conscious stunts. When the London Eye was delayed Virgin produced a sign saying “BA can’t get it up”. To me the V looks more and more like a horrid smirk.’

Tim Rich, Writer

‘The UK has lots of examples of bad individual buildings, but what about the thousands of ill-considered housing estates that continue to be thrown up all over the UK? It’s incredibly lazy architecture. Low-cost housing doesn’t have to mean low design values.’

Harriet Devoy, Creative director, The Chase

‘The lack of context is sometimes a lot worse than the lack of imagination. And then, some buildings lack both – the height of the scrap-heap would rival the Eiffel Tower many times over. The anonymous housing building at Gateshead, sited right next to the marvels – the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, the Millennium Bridge and the forthcoming Sage concert hall – which makes it all the more out of context, is a case in point.’

Sniez Torbarina, Associate, Jestico & Whiles Architects

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