Friday, 4 September 2009

SKY PLAZA STUDENT HOUSING IN LEEDS BY CAREY JONES ARCHITECTS


This is a recession, which means that land values are lower than they were, which means that student housing developers can afford to get in there and build some shit buildings for young people to live in. Then, the poor students get overcharged for the privilege of having sex and throwing up and setting off smoke alarms in an eyesore.
Unite is the developer of this building, and they're responsible for loads of shite in cities all over the country (this one in Manchester looks like an old people's home, this one in Edinburgh is a shit bit of Scottish contextualism and this one in London like 1980s housing for people likely to harm themselves). Unite is by no means to only developer doing shit buildings for students, and this will not be the last student residence to appear here.
Sky Plaza, above, is in Leeds, and is the tallest student housing IN THE WOOOOOORLD as if that is either here or there. 37 storeys. 103 metres. Look at the pic above: the buildings next door are pretty big. This one's a monster. The proportions are fat and deadening as the lumpen mass of it obnoxiously blots out the sky.
The composition of the facades, or lack of, is, in my experience, what really distinguishes bad architects from good. Bad architects don't so much compose facades, as choose a pattern and use a tiling command to extend it across the whole facade. When they do try to design one, this happens.
Here, Carey Jones opted to make loads of tiny windows march across the facade with a monotonous lack of verve.


When the architects at Carey Jones were students, do you think they dreamed of doing buildings like this?

16 comments:

  1. Looks like someone found the "pull" tool in SketchUp!

    Shockingly bad.

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  2. I always like to check the portfolios of firms mentioned on this blog to see if these companies really are bad - or if they just had a large case of Creator's Block and produced something that wasn't too great or up to their usual standards. I have to say though (having looked through careyjones' site) that they are one of the worst firms I have seen and their pomposity and complacency is laughable. "At careyjones we employ the very best architects, designers and technical staff," they say with a photograph of the leading pair looking serious. What a load of shit.

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  3. Unite have to be one of the worst offending developers. Good work.

    Their scheme in Liverpool gets my vote, you need to see it close up for the full horror, but this picture gives you some idea:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/haversack/157424049/

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  4. And what will be going with plan inside? You mentioned the activities for which students are famous. Why are they so extorionately expensive? Why do they all have single beds? And with people hauling their belongings away from home, why no storage? And why are they so bleak? Why, why, why...

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  5. Nice one Mr (Ghost of) Nairn. This building is truly dreadful. I can remember when students lived in Halls of Residence, not "Sky Plazas". What sort of a bollocks name is that?

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  6. http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/visual_arts/architecture_and_design/article6821580.ece

    Mr Dyckhoff gives Bad British Blog a mention.

    Another nice one.

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  7. Utterly grim addition(?) to Leeds city centre, which already suffers more than its fair share of second and third rate buildings from the last four or five decades.
    I have to drive past this every two or three weeks and find it a particularly depressing block, situated alongside the A58M cutting.
    It would be difficult to contrive a more depressing combination of location and building in which to foster the minds and spirits of our young people, God help us.

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  8. You think thats bad see what they have done in Liverpool

    http://liverpoolpreservationtrust.blogspot.com/search/label/Milton%20Keynes-On-Sea

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  9. Well, excuse me but the shite Edinburgh resisdences are designed by none other than darlings of the scottish architectural scene GM+AD - hmmm....doesn't appear on their website tho. Maybe I'm wrong?

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  10. Getting horrible flashbacks from this. For two terrible years I was a student at Coventry Polytechnic (there, I've said it) and lived next door to a similar monstrous student block to the one above. That building, now mercifully destroyed, also looked like a gigantic tombstone. Known as 'The Death trap', the rooms were out of a prison ship, the top ten floors would sway alarmingly in the breeze, it was too tall for the fire brigade to rescue people from the higher floors in a fire, but it allowed suicidal students to hurl themselves off the top in certain knowledge that they would not only kill themselves, but that their mortal remains would have to be sprayed off the pavement with high pressure hoses.
    Ah, happy days.

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  11. Oooh bad, though I remember it being built - there was such pride in the publicity. Reminds me of the similarly awful Jury's Inn hotel, in Nottingham.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ayeupmeduck/2921940495/

    Looks as though they are taking advantage of their own system build primarily for saving money of course and with no mention of design.

    http://www.unite-group.co.uk/development/modular-manufacturing.go

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  12. You mean Newington Court? It's soooooo horrible! But at least it used up some meaningless "dog toilet" space and has an entrance in the front onto the pavement, instead of round the side, like the previous accommodation for people who harm themselves (where are they housed now?).

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  13. Get fof your high horse gpostnikov.....your comments are non founded and immature.

    If you actually research careyjones you will see they actually put a lot of time, effort and money into helping areas which need it and are fore-thinkers in Green design and environmentally aware design.

    In a time when recession has been rife, architects have been forced to take on projects they normally may have steered clear off. I have looked through careyjones and their other projects are wonderful. I think you should get off your high horse and get a more educated background before placing such illedicated views.

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  14. Ouch! Sounds like I hit a raw nerve. Hope you feel better having said all that...sure is easy to be dismissive critics by referring to them as 'immature' or 'uneducated'. Pity it doesn't actually make the architecture in question any better - as I am sure my fellow commentators will agree.

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  15. Letting agents in Leeds


    Hmm I think it's quite amazing provide and I am awaiting submission one residence after having a conversation with my household. Thanks for the information

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  16. this is really too high... some students might not choose this kind of accommodation... but it really depends on them and their parents. If this would be alright with their families then this will surely provide them the comfort they want.

    best student accommodation in bendigo

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