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 US$970million 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 Time 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 publicly 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.