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Tue 6 Sep 2011 11:56 AM

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Dubai-inspired building crowned worst in Britain

MediaCityUK is a $970m complex in Salford Quays, on the banks of Manchester Ship Canal

Dubai-inspired building crowned worst in Britain
UK version of Dubais Media City has been named worst building in Britain, following a ‘competition’ run by Building Design magazine

The UK version of Dubai’s Media City has received the dubious title of worst building in Britain, following a ‘competition’ run by Building Design magazine.

MediaCityUK is a $970m complex in Salford Quays, on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal, which was designed by Wilkinson Eyre, Chapman Taylor and Fairhurst Design Group.

The complex provides the regional headquarters of the BBC and ITV, the media studies department of Salford University, a hotel, housing and a school.

Building Design commented: “[MediaCityUK] had every opportunity to be a piece of city to be treasured for centuries to come. The reality, however, is scarcely distinguishable from the Media Cities in Dubai and Qatar that the developer, Peel Holdings, has evidently taken as its model.”

The magazine’s annual quest to find Britain’s worst is labelled as the ‘Carbuncle Cup’. This year the competition was judged by architecture critics from The Observer, The Sunday Times and The Guardian.

Others in the running included One Hyde Park, with the first £100m apartment in the world and the Meccano kit apartments near Tate Modern in London.

MediaCityUK has courted controversy since the publically funded BBC decided to shift five BBC departments – sport, children's, Radio 5 Live, learning and parts of future, media and technology – to the new base.

Around 80% of staff refused to re-locate, including sports presenter Gabby Logan and BBC Breakfast presenter Sian Williams.

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Red Snappa 8 years ago


A consistently grey, low clouded leaden sky over Salford as the rain comes down for the fifth time in succession that day, then maybe they look even more architecturally uninspiring. I have to admit it is not a design style that moves me to tears of sheer joy!

disturbed of dubai 8 years ago

as a proud Mancunian I'm delighted to see you paint an attractive, if a little over optimistic picture of one of Manchester (and Salford's,) better summer days..

Alan Holden 8 years ago

As a Mancunian living in Qatar I have to say: "We have a Media City in Qatar?"

Red Snappa 8 years ago

But lads, lads a Media City bathed in baking sunshine makes any architecture look better than it really is, especially glass 'n steel. Title for a Salford detective series perchance?

WJ 8 years ago

But of course! Had the same design, and the idea of having a media city, been copied from Switzerland, the US or any of the so called developped nations then the headline would be: "......crowned best in England". How sad that the Brits still cannot come to terms with Dubai's achievements.