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Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Ugly Buildings

Dyfatty flats in Swansea have been voted the ugliest building in South Wales. Why? These buildings are nothing special. They are like every other high rise social housing built in the sixties and the seventies. I suspect that they won out because the experience of living in them is not ideal largely due to a lack of investment by the local Council. Listening to the radio item on this as I drove into the Assembly it occurred to me that there are in fact a uglier buildings in Cardiff Bay., So I drew up a long list. This includes the ntl headquarters by Asda and all the new blocks of flats that have grown up alongside the A4232 between the ntl building and St. David's Hotel, especially the one with the £300,000 plus cylindrical penthouse. In addition there is the St. David's Hotel itself, Techniquest and the Wales Millennium Centre. The favourite has to be the UCI cinema complex, which is even uglier than the Parc Tawe buildings where its Swansea twin is situated. As for the most attractive building in Cardiff Bay, my vote is the Pierhead Building. Though if Mount Stuart Square was not so hidden away it would provide a stark demonstration to today's architects of how classy buildings can look.

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