The 10 Most Hated Eyesores
Voted by Country Life Readers
When Country Life asked readers to nominate the worst eyesores in Britain,
nominations flooded in.
By Mary Miers
Thursday, November 13 2003
Do you find yourself mentally bulldozing buildings – sometimes whole towns – and then dreaming of how you would replace them? Do you curse ugliness in architecture and insensitive development and wonder how architects, planners and developers get away with it? If the answer is yes, you may have contributed to Country Life’s list of Britain’s top 10 eyesores.
We decided to find out which buildings our readers find most offensive. We asked them to send in their nominations, and surveyed a representative sample of readers, contributors and architectural and conservation experts across the country. Their response proved to be very subjective, with the majority voting for examples that affect them locally, rather than nominating well-publicised national eyesores.
But certain buildings came up again and again, as did, interestingly, a range of generic rather than site-specific examples; indeed, four of these reached the top 10 and one – wind farms-was voted the number one eyesore in our survey.
Some chose buildings they considered to be badly designed and thus insensitive to their surroundings, while others opted for examples such as power stations, which by their very nature intrude upon the landscape, regardless of their quality as examples of industrial architecture.
The results are published here, and range from surprising landmarks such as Knightsbridge Barracks, a dramatically modern and un- compromising building by Basil Spence, to Birmingham New Street Station, an airless and confusing warren housing one of the country’s most important rail interchanges.
READERS’ 10 MOST HATED EYESORES
1. Wind farms
2. New Street Station, Birmingham
3. Didcot power station
4. Battersea power station
5. Electricity pylons
6. 1960s Basingstoke
7. Motorways (eg, M25)
8. Knightsbridge barracks
9. St James’s Shopping Centre, Edinburgh
10. Service stations on the M1