Live In London’s New Student Silo. Or You Could Sleep In A Skip.

Great Britain, London, Observatory

465 Caledonian Road

Yes, it’s official. London, voted 55th best world city to live in, will now flog you student accommodation with no light or space or dignity for around 700 nicker a month. University College London’s new plastic squat around the corner from my front door just won the Carbuncle Cup, the annual national award for Britain’s worst new building. Step forward the money-grubbing scumbags of Mortar Developments together with the entirely untalented and ignorant-of-context Stephen George & Partners ‘architects’, previous winners for the nation’s nastiest building. Well done, all, you probably just pushed us down to 56th position.

What’s wrong with this? Well, they’ve actually retained the 19th century facade in front and have bunged in a gigantic plastic box behind that overlaps it, so your window is just a metre from, er, a brick wall. The argument being that students should be studying and don’t need light. Yes, really. What the developer is actually doing is exploiting a loophole left by the planning inspector which exempts student accommodation from normal residential regulations, which is why we’re getting so many shit student silos going up around the capital. Pastel plastic panels are this year’s rubbish architectural melanoma, as you’ll have noticed if you look around.

Oh, and here’s one student-bin that (so far) has been turned down. It’s in Arsenal colours. Classy.



8 comments on “Live In London’s New Student Silo. Or You Could Sleep In A Skip.”

  1. Mim says:

    I misread that as ‘Mordor Developments’! It really is an ugly thing, isn’t it?

  2. Alan G says:

    They are trying the same thing here in Kingston. Fortunately they face concerted local opposition who know quite a bit about planning regulations (bow). I don’t object to students (as long as they’re not like I was) but the sheer size of the development is ridiculous.

  3. Dan Terrell says:

    Some of these buildings you’re showing us… I don’t know what to make of them frankly… Wouldn’t want to live in sight of them. What are they smoking?

  4. snowy says:

    I saw the former when it was mentioned previously, and my initial reaction was a mixture of laughter and something unprintable.

    But the developers/land owners are upto shenanigans, I suspect they planned to demo everything including the facade, but they were stopped. So they have done the bare minimum to meet the planning restrictions, and are just waiting for the facade to become unstable so it can be destroyed on the grounds of safety.

    Silly boys/girls, they could have ‘wrapped’ that into the new frontage, or better made a feature of it. That would have allowed them to shoehorn in another dozen cells rooms.

    Planning Authorities got wise to ‘benign neglect’ years and years ago, and unless a few brown envelopes change hands that mess will be there for decades.

    The plastic coated steel panels are in vogue to meet insulation regs cheaply. But they still get dirty like concrete, but concrete doesn’t tend to fade, blister or shift when the temp changes.

    The second one has an almost ‘Kermodian’ air, [but with an unneccesarily cruel number of chins.] I doubt it is based on the Dali painting, but I’ve seen that shape somewhere.

    [Guessing Dali, but it’s early 20C]

  5. Dan Terrell says:

    The lower one looks like ice cream sunday waffle biscuits nibbled on the outer edges by rats.

  6. snowy says:

    Could be worse, imagine building a 47 storey residental building, and when it was finished somebody pointed out that the lifts only went up to level 20.

    You could parachute down from the top, but it would be a long climb back up with the shopping.

    But they have a plan to fix the problem, they are going to glue some extra lifts on the outside of the building, classy eh!

    Am I pulling your legs? it’s the In Tempo Tower, Benidorm.

  7. Helen Martin says:

    All of this is an example of that saying which should be in large size Roman caps at the front (and back) of every architecture classroom: Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

  8. andrea yang says:

    The building with the window issues is just plain stupid!

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