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The World’s Worst Designed Apartment Complex

[ 166 ] February 27, 2013 |

Good god.

But wait, there’s more.

Someone make it stop. What did the British do to deserve this?


Comments (166)

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  1. I like it. It’s weird. That being said, when it comes to architecture, I have a very laissez faire “just throw shit at the wall and see what sticks” kind of attitude. I like weird stuff. I even kinda like ugly stuff.

  2. Xenos says:

    What did the British do to deserve this?


  3. Bijan Parsia says:

    What did the British do to deserve this?

    British plumbing, litter, colonialism, cuisine, and Hugh Grant, to start.

  4. What did the British do to deserve this?


    That’s what.

  5. elm says:

    Well, one thing I learned from looking at the pictures: the window tax must no longer be in effect!

  6. Icarus Wright says:

    “Our general philosophy about architecture is that much of it is very dull with no sense of exuberance, or any openness to a wider variety of influences and sources” added Griffiths. “This building is part of our expression that architecture should contribute something more memorable.”

    So much win.

  7. It’s like someone looked at a 1970 Stalinoid concrete apartment building and said, “You know what’s wrong with this thing? It needs kitsch.”

  8. I suppose if you had one of the top houses you could brag that everyone else was living in a packing crate underneath you. That seems British to me.

  9. njorl says:

    I like how the blinds resemble boarded up windows.

  10. rea says:

    Headline: “Russian Criminal Organization Launches Cyber Attack on Architectural Firm”

  11. commie atheist says:

    The Community In A Cube (CIAC) building was first conceived as part of a larger masterplan drawn up by architect Will Alsop in 2004 for a site beside the city’s old docks. Other ideas for the development included a building shaped like a toaster and an apartment block resembling a stack of Jenga pieces.

    The only thing better would be if the Jenga pieces actually moved.

  12. JKTHs says:

    “Designed” is a pretty generous term for what the architects did here.

    • sibusisodan says:

      Two theories here: the architects are either southerners taking yet another dump on an area which has been industry less and jobless for a generation or more, and this is just salt in the wound.

      Or they’re from Newcastle, and have just played one of the finest neighbouring rivalry pranks of all time.

  13. Sothis happened.

    And this.

    Oh no! What if they made a building like this! That would be awful!

    Thank goodness they had the good sense to design something “cartoon-like.” Thank goodness a contemporary architectural journal thinks that the term “cartoon-like” is a compliment when applied to a building.

    Oh, and most of all, thank goodness they designed a building that’s “like a little urban village,” instead of building an actual little urban village. Phew, really dodged a bullet there!

    • UserGoogol says:

      Don’t knock cartoons. Cartoons are one of the great artforms of our age. And this building has fairly little to do with cartoons. Cartoons are about stylization and creativity. Cartoony does not and should not mean “weird and vaguely alarming.” (For example, Batman the Animated Series fits quite nicely alongside the Chrysler Building.)

  14. actor212 says:

    Holy crap! That looks like Rem Koolhas meets Rovert Moses!

  15. He continued: “You have a thing that looks like a Swiss chalet on the ground floor, which was going to be the the local community pub. Then you have housing on the roof that taps into local culture. They’re not exactly ordinary houses, more of an aesthetic expression you’d be more likely to find in New England or Kent, but they become very odd because they sit on top on an apartment building.”

    I can appreciate their reckoning that drinking had to be done.

  16. I’m getting the “President Palin” ad below the pictures of the building, and…I don’t know…they just seem to go together somehow.

  17. Heck, I agree with the Dr. that experimentation can be encouraged, and weirdness in the built environment is perfectly fine. Heck, I like The Crayon box!

    But, and I say this as one who’s current project is putting four stories in modern idiom on top of a 1914 single story Pierce-Arrow dealership, when you try something far out, you better have full control of the design.

    And that just doesn’t. What it needed more than anything is a client who knew how to say “No”.

  18. Speaking for myself, I do a LOTS better job than that when drunk. even when sober.

  19. “Doctors bury their mistakes. All Architects can do is plant vines”

    I hope the landscape budget is generous.

  20. (the other) Davis says:

    Is this the architectural equivalent of trolling?

  21. wengler says:

    The worst part is pretty cosmetic and can be easily changed. Those black X’s make it look condemned. The rest certainly isn’t good, but could be strange curiosity, like those futuristic sculptures in communist Yugoslavia.

    • Eggomaniac says:

      I don’t know. I think the worst part are the Monopoly mansions sitting on top. Not much can be done about those that wouldn’t be expensive.

      The black X’s do make it look like they forgot to remove the shipping tape. That’s an easy fix, as you say.

  22. “Our general philosophy about architecture is that much of it is very dull with no sense of exuberance, or any openness to a wider variety of influences and sources” added Griffiths. “This building is part of our expression that architecture should contribute something more memorable.”

    Traditional architecture is so oppressive. Who says my design for a building has to be inspired by a building? Why can’t it be inspired by, say, a Wal Mart display of brightly-colored plastic cups from China? That’s the type of concept that will really have a lasting significance for people.

  23. OK, now that we all have that out of our system and I have a drink in me, I have to say I like the mosaic at the back of the court, and the stripey plaza too.

    Remove the fakey houses, top and bottom, and it might even be pretty good.

  24. Eggomaniac says:

    What’s frightening is this is sufficiently unique that it will probably get Graded, and then not only will you never be rid of it, but you won’t be able to change it.

  25. Stag Party Palin says:

    Where’s the abbatoir?

  26. Shakezula says:

    For some reason I thought of Lovecraft’s many angled ones AND Monty Python’s Architecture skit AT THE SAME TIME.

    OK. No. My hometown has more than its fair share of architectural moments. Sometimes it is cool. But sometimes it sucks.

    But here’s what I’ve learned. The cooler and more different it looks on day one, the quicker people will get sick of the sight of it. Here we’re talking picoseconds.

    And then there is the issue of maintenance. How long will that paintwork stay fresh, and what will it cost to touch it up? And the woodwork. This place is on the water. Have fun reapplying the poly to keep that from looking even more crap. Idiots.

  27. Major Kong says:

    Looks like a Tudor mansion on top of a parking garage on top of a barn.

    Proof that at least one architect in the UK is doing drugs.

  28. LeftWingFox says:

    It does look like the pub was stuffed in there to keep the whole thing from wobbling.

  29. herr doktor bimler says:

    “It was about assembling disparate elements you would think of as incongruous into a collage that has an expression of community.”

    Allowing a community to develop of its own accord takes time, and is unpredictable, so let’s impose one!

  30. M. Bouffant says:

    What a bunch of aesthetic fascists.

    I mean, it’s no giant dough-nut or giant hot dog in a bun (Real architecture!) but it’s certainly whimsical.

  31. ajay says:

    “I’ll say this for the Luftwaffe: at least when they destroyed the centres of our cities, they didn’t replace them with anything more offensive than rubble. We did that.” — the very splendid and worthwhile Prince Philip

  32. montag says:

    Oh, sweet jaysus, the penthouses are… houses.

    How is the NPT ever going to work if we keep putting up worthwhile targets?

  33. MatthewsB says:

    To quote the the very article,”Our general philosophy about architecture is that much of it is very dull with no sense of exuberance, or any openness to a wider variety of influences and sources” added [FAT director Sean] Griffiths. “This building is part of our expression that architecture should contribute something more memorable.” :)

  34. Peter VE says:

    What have the French done to deserve this? I blame Ayn Rand. The Fountainhead has blighted far too many young minds, resulting in generations of architects believing that any excrescense they may conceive demonstrate the greatness of their genius.

  35. I used to think that no high rise building in the UK could approach the sheer mediocre awfulness of Arlington House in Margate, but I might have to revise my opinion…other buildings are creeping down to join it…

  36. Worst designed like a FOX! Oh, _please_ tell me that the penthouses have actual lawns with grass.

  37. Habib Kazem says:

    I still find it more better designed then those low-income housing projects in the U.S.

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