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Cutty Sark: a damaging restoration

Ship is awarded 'Carbuncle Cup' as ugliest building of the last year - and we agree

Photo by Karen Roe @ flickr

On the day the Cutty Sark is awarded the Carbuncle Cup as the ugliest new building of the last year, The Victorian Society described its restoration as 'damaging' and 'misguided'.

The Cutty Sark, built in 1869 as a clipper ship and preserved since 1954 as a popular museum and tourist attraction, is a Grade I listed monument. The restoration project has done much valuable repair work but has also raised the ship three metres into the air using steel props and surrounded it with a steel and glass bubble. The space underneath has thus been made available for corporate hospitality events.

The Society's new director, Chris Costelloe, said, 'It's a pity that commercial motives were placed above heritage interests. The new design has obscured the Cutty Sark's distinctive shape at the quayside. Even the part of the ship we can still see includes an obtrusive lift tower looming over the deck.'

'Restoring heritage buildings for the 21st century doesn't have to mean misguided attempts to fit the corporate hospitality market. It is sad that such a high profile restoration has now led to the Cutty Sark being awarded the 2012 Carbuncle Cup.'

Thursday 13 September, 2012

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