City Gateway, the new halls opening this year, has been nominated for the Building Design’s Carbuncle Cup Award for the worst new building.
The building – which has been affectionately nicknamed ‘fag butt’ by Swaythling residents – has been empty for a year, but will see it’s first intake of Freshers from September 8th (for pre-sessional students), with September 19th seeing the bulk of the Freshers intake. There are over 350 bedrooms available in the complex.
The building cost £23.5m to build and is 15 storeys high.
Unfortunately too many new buildings blight on our towns and cities rather than doing what they should which is improving the built environment for all. These buildings suffer from a number of failings including blank, faceless façades, cheap shouty cladding, bad proportions and ill-conceived design ‘features’.
The winner of the competition will be announced later this year.
Tom Cross, City Gateway JCR President descibed the halls as ‘quirky’:
The building turns a few heads admittedly but our Freshers arriving in September will certainly not forget the building. Remember that good old saying ‘don’t judge a halls by its exterior?’ Gateway will be playing host to around 350 students, who otherwise might not have even been allocated a place in university accommodation, and it can be guaranteed that anyone living here will be taking advantage of the most modern facilities Southampton has to offer. So in my eyes, Gateway can only be deemed a positive addition to the community. And anyway, if we do so happen to win the Carbuncle award, I demand that it be displayed in the common room for all the students to be proud of!
Last year’s winner – a development of shops and flats in Woolwich- was described as ‘oppressive, defensive, arrogant and inept’ by judges.
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