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Thread: Mersey Ferry Liverpool terminal's Carbuncle award

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    Default Mersey Ferry Liverpool terminal's Carbuncle award

    The flagship ?10.5m ferry terminal at Liverpool's Pier Head has won the "Carbuncle Cup" which is awarded to Britain's worst new building.

    Three judges for the Building Design (BD) magazine said the Merseytravel building was "a shining example of bad architecture and bad planning".

    A spokesman for Merseytravel defended the building saying it had "tremendous community support".

    "This is only the view of two journalists and an architect," he said.

    The building incorporates ferry operations, a Beatles museum and a rooftop restaurant. It was designed by Belfast-based Hamilton architects.

    Three Graces

    The terminal is cantilevered on two sides and clad in limestone to complement the new Liverpool Museum next door.

    The judges added: "It is such an amazing site, directly in front of the Three Graces, but the architects seem barely to have noticed.

    "It is like letting a bad second-year student build next to St Peter's.

    "The architect evidently once looked at a Zaha building in a magazine. It is essentially a horrible sectional idea that has been extruded like a stick of rock."


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    Judges were split between the Liverpool waterside building and a structure in Nottingham - both they said were appalling - but in the end they decided that "given the damage inflicted by the ferry terminal on what is a UNESCO world heritage site" it was the more worthy recipient.

    Another of Liverpool's buildings - Cesar Pelli's One Park West - was shortlisted for the Cup.

    The final three buildings that were nominated were: Make's Amenity building for Nottingham University, Hamilton Architects' Ferry Terminal in Liverpool and Queen Margaret University campus, Aberdeen, by Dyer Associates.

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    Senior Member Howie's Avatar
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    Probably not Britain's worst new building, but the scale, proportions, and angles are all awkward. I don't think it's attractive and it certainly is a very poor relation to the new museum, let alone the Three Graces.

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    Senior Member Malc-Downing's Avatar
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    well, i don't hate it and i don't think it's ugly.. just different, nothing wrong with that. but it does feel like somethings missing !! any ideas ?
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    Don't dream it ... be it !

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    Smurf Member scouse smurf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malc-Downing View Post
    well, i don't hate it and i don't think it's ugly.. just different, nothing wrong with that. but it does feel like somethings missing !! any ideas ?
    a bomb ?

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    Senior Member Howie's Avatar
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    I recall on this forum a couple of years ago a well known photographer making a derogatory comment about the pics of one less accomplished with a camera. I remember thinking at the time that the contrast between the poorer quality shots and his more professional work actually made it look better so that he should have been congratulating the novice for posting them rather than denigrating his efforts. I was down the Pier Head this afternoon and got exactly the same feeling - that the ugliness of the Ferry Terminal actually makes the Three Graces look even more beautiful so maybe we should be thanking the architects for the juxtaposition of beast and beauty they have created even if it wasn't their intention.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Howie View Post
    I recall on this forum a couple of years ago a well known photographer making a derogatory comment about the pics of one less accomplished with a camera. I remember thinking at the time that the contrast between the poorer quality shots and his more professional work actually made it look better so that he should have been congratulating the novice for posting them rather than denigrating his efforts. I was down the Pier Head this afternoon and got exactly the same feeling - that the ugliness of the Ferry Terminal actually makes the Three Graces look even more beautiful so maybe we should be thanking the architects for the juxtaposition of beast and beauty they have created even if it wasn't their intention.
    If I remember rightly that was my photo of the liver building, which I did say wasn't very good in the first place . I was just getting involved which is what ya want from ppl on forums

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    Newbie baldyman26's Avatar
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    I think the building is doing what it is meant to by becoming a talking point. I don't think the idea behind it was to blend in, I think it was to be bold. Whichever way you look at it , it won't please everybody. Remember the old bus station. That was a blot on the landscape that nobody complained about . In fact I remember the day it closed, everybody had a story to tell. It was accepted. When that was pulled down we where left with a glorified portakabin with a tent on the roof. Again, don't recall complaints about that. Would the Pier Head have become a world heritage site if those buildings were still there ???

    I would like to ask the people that don't like the ferry terminal what they would've wanted to see built there. I don't think anybody could've come up with a building that would please everybody. The area around the Pier head now looks fantastic, and is what this city deserves AND can be proud of.

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baldyman26 View Post
    I think the building is doing what it is meant to by becoming a talking point. I don't think the idea behind it was to blend in, I think it was to be bold.
    It was to ape the adjacent museum, as the Danish architect of the museum noted. They should have got a top architect to design it, not some no marks from Northern Ireland.

    The services are open on the ceilings. The Pompedu Centre in Paris has this, however the building is large and also has the services on the outside too. This is small and looks like the contractor beat it before completion. It looks cheap inside in parts. The outside is well finished.
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    Newbie baldyman26's Avatar
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    It is after all a ferry terminal, OK so there is also an extension to the Beatles museum, however thats what the tourists are interested in, whats on the inside not how the building looks. The view of the 3 graces isn't blocked in any way, however if you take the view from the ferry itself, the landing stage as a whole is a blot on the landscape, the IOM ferry terminal is just a portakabin, the ferries dock at a giant meccano set, the buildings at princess dock are nothing special.. There are your carbuncle cup winners.

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    Haven't seen it for real but in the photos it looks like it's suffering from subsidence.

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baldyman26 View Post
    It is after all a ferry terminal, OK so there is also an extension to the Beatles museum, however thats what the tourists are interested in, whats on the inside not how the building looks. The view of the 3 graces isn't blocked in any way, however if you take the view from the ferry itself, the landing stage as a whole is a blot on the landscape, the IOM ferry terminal is just a portakabin, the ferries dock at a giant meccano set, the buildings at princess dock are nothing special.. There are your carbuncle cup winners.
    The buildings at Princes Dock could be a lot better, BUT....two wrongs do not make a right. The point is that building.

    BTW, the landing stage is temporary and will be much better when complete.
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    tourist. Would we visit a modernised Venice of filled in
    canals to view its modern museum describing
    how it once was?


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    When the ferry docks to the pier, you can watch all the iridescent colors of the rainbow reflected in the glasses of the farry terminal. And this is reflected in the windows, absolutely not spoiling the beauty of "Three Graces".

    Last edited by lenka; 09-02-2009 at 03:46 PM.

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    At least they got the colour of the stone right.
    The new Amsterdam at Liverpool?
    Save Liverpool Docks and Waterways - Click

    Deprived of its unique dockland waters Liverpool
    becomes a Venice without canals, just another city, no
    longer of special interest to anyone, least of all the
    tourist. Would we visit a modernised Venice of filled in
    canals to view its modern museum describing
    how it once was?


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    Senior Member Howie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howie View Post
    I think it looks great!

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    Senior Member Howie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wsteve55 View Post
    I think it looks great!
    We'll have to disagree. It's just wrong - all the different angles do my head in! Somebody buy the architect a set square.
    Last edited by Howie; 09-03-2009 at 12:29 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Howie View Post
    We'll have to disagree. It's just wrong - all the different angles do my head in! Somebody buy the architect a set square.
    Remember the garbage that was there before? A 100% improvement!

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    Senior Member Howie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wsteve55 View Post
    Remember the garbage that was there before? A 100% improvement!
    True - but that is a judgement on what was there before, not what is there now. Nearly all new buildings are an improvement on the dereliction or datedness of what they happen to replace. Now you mention it - it does look kind of dated already. I could imagine it having been built on the campus of one of the new universities in the sixties.

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    Take your point,but it's just that when anything new comes along in Liverpool,people start going on about how great it used to be!( in thier imagination) Dont forget,the Liver buildings got ****ged off,good style,by some when it first went up!
    p.s. some quick examples of how good it used to look.....a giant toilet comes to mind!
    Last edited by wsteve55; 09-03-2009 at 03:06 PM.

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    Senior Member irishseashipping.com's Avatar
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    I have mixed feelings towards the new Mersey Ferries Terminal. At first I disliked it intensely, but having been inside my attitude has warmed a little.

    HOWEVER, I really do think this building would have been more suited to have been a joint Mersey Ferries and Isle of Man Steam Packet terminal located at the north end of the Pier Head piazza.

    Only in Liverpool could we have a semi international terminal constructed of portacabins whilst the terminal for a 45 minute ferry trip is a substantiual multimillion pound construction. There should have been some joined up thinking between Liverpool City Council, Peel Ports and the Isle of Man Steam Packet.

    Some weeks ago I went into the new cafe-bar for a coffee. The large coffee cost around ?2.75. Just over a week ago I had a similar large coffee in St. Peter Port, Guernsey and it only cost ?1.60 in a cafe offering a superior sea view!

    Why does it cost ?1.15 more in Liverpool when Guernsey is considered to be an area of considerable affluence?

    John

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    Senior Member Howie's Avatar
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    Default From The Times

    September 5, 2009

    The Carbuncle Cup: The award for ugliest building goers to...

    Tom Dyckhoff applauds the prize that no architect wants to win ? the Carbuncle Cup



    "When an architect has done something truly awful, they deserve to be kicked.? Amanda Baillieu, the august editor of the architectural newspaper Building Design, is not known for mincing her words. Faced with a building as eyewateringly dreary as Liverpool?s Pier Head Ferry Terminal, though, words fail her: ?It?s just dross. Look at it. It?s ... agh!?

    Belfast-based Hamilton Architects, hang your heads in shame, for you have just won 2009?s Carbuncle Cup. ?We set up the cup four years ago,? says Baillieu, ?as a kind of anti-Stirling Prize. Architects constantly garland themselves with awards. They?re tripping over them. But when you see what?s being built all over the country, you have to think, hold on a minute.? The cup has become to next month?s Stirling Prize what the Razzies, or Golden Raspberries, are to the Oscars, a moment to pr!ck the ego of a profession not known for its shrinking violets. Fellow architects nominate their brethren whose work has not quite come up to the standards of, say, Bob the Builder.

    One of this year?s judges, Sean Griffiths, from architects FAT, says Liverpool?s ferry terminal won not just for its derivative design, though this is bad enough: ?Third-rate Zaha Hadid, a crude, jazzy-angled lump of crap, a terrible example of an architecturally illiterate client trying to be groovy and getting it so, so wrong, like a 50-year-old making a fashion faux pas in a disco.?

    What makes it worse, he says, is where the thing is, slap-bang on Liverpool?s waterfront, a Unesco World Heritage Site, beside the city?s Three Graces. ?It literally is a monstrous carbuncle on the face of an old friend,? he says, with a knowing nod to the Prince of Wales?s infamous quip. ?And it?s now the gateway to my home city.?

    Both the architect and Mersey Travel, which commissioned the building, inevitably feel not the slightest hint of shame. ?We?re proud of it,? says a spokesman for Hamilton Architects. Us too, says another from Mersey Travel, adding: ?We?re not desperately interested in the opinions of two journalists and an architect, to be honest.?

    And therein lies the problem. Because the terminal building represents one of two trends that have come to dominate British architecture. They think they got an icon, says Baillieu. Indeed they do. ?With Mersey Travel we?ve jointly faced up to the challenge of designing an iconic building,? says Hamilton Architects, ?one that?s vibrant and multi-use, and the nucleus of the new Pier Head Plaza, drawing the public to a formerly barren public space. It?s in a location that can be viewed from all sides, so it?s been conceived as a strong sculptural form.?

    Baillieu says: ?There are too many architects out there doing funny shapes and wonky windows. Truth is, only a handful are skilful enough to do it well.? The crap icon is, alas, now an all-too common sight in our cities, designed by an architect who thinks they?re the next Frank Gehry, for some client who wants the next headline-grabber. Well Liverpool sure got headlines.

    The second trend? The ?awful drabness of buildings built under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI)?, says Baillieu, like so many of the new schools and hospitals up and down the country ? or the two university buildings in Nottingham and Edinburgh that came second and third in the cup.

    Indeed, so bad and so numerous has bad British architecture become that it has got its own blog ? badbritisharchitecture.blogspot.com ? whose mission statement is ?I hate the b@stards who make these buildings. So here I am, taking the p!ss out of them.?

    What unites both the crap icon and PFI drabness are the same underlying causes: a lack of cash and a lack of care. We?ve just been through a 15-year building boom. The country is awash with new office towers, buy-to-let apartment blocks, health centres and shopping malls that will be with us for generations. Most have been built by clients who may have good intentions ? such as regeneration ? but who are willing to stump up the money and expertise you need to get real quality. ?How do these buildings slip past?? asks Baillieu. Simple.

    Planning, like so much local democracy in this country, is knackered. Local council planning departments are so cash-strapped and overworked that they have no time for architectural expertise or proper, proactive consultation with us lot. And the result? Well, see for yourself at bdonline.co.uk. And weep.

    Source: Times Online

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    Senior Member wsteve55's Avatar
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    Dont care,still think it looks great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    George
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malc-Downing View Post
    well, i don't hate it and i don't think it's ugly.. just different, nothing wrong with that. but it does feel like somethings missing !! any ideas ?
    Yes! its glass front.

    I knew I should have taken up architecture instead of painting...
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    Senior Member Howie's Avatar
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    I think Amanda Baillieu is spot on when she says that "There are too many architects out there doing funny shapes and wonky windows. Truth is, only a handful are skilful enough to do it well."

    Unfortunately Hamilton Architects weren't one of them!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Howie View Post
    I think Amanda Baillieu is spot on when she says that "There are too many architects out there doing funny shapes and wonky windows. Truth is, only a handful are skilful enough to do it well."

    Unfortunately Hamilton Architects weren't one of them!
    Let's see some of her stuff, and compare.......what,she hasn't actually designed squat!Oh well,we'll have to ask her mate Tom dyckoff!

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    Senior Member Howie's Avatar
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    No need - just compare it with the new Museum of Liverpool building a few yards away.

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    George
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howie View Post
    I think Amanda Baillieu is spot on when she says that "There are too many architects out there doing funny shapes and wonky windows. Truth is, only a handful are skilful enough to do it well."

    Unfortunately Hamilton Architects weren't one of them!
    I blame it on their parents...lettin em watch too many Alice in wonderland adventures.

    Just wondering would they really want this sorta stuff on their own territory?

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    Smurf Member scouse smurf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    I blame it on their parents...lettin em watch too many Alice in wonderland adventures.

    Just wondering would they really want this sorta stuff on their own territory?
    They probably would. I bet they think it looks stunning. Look at some of the other ones they've done

    http://www.hamiltonarchitects.co.uk/projects_1.html

    At least ours only cost 10 million

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    George
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    10 million quid just for a waiting room for ferry crossing punters...sheeeesh! Liverpool council seriously needs investigating.

    And I don't believe Gladstone Conservatory cost the same to revamp either.

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    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    The building is bad. Lets have the old Pier Head back!
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