List of winners of the Sir Hugh Casson Award

The Sir Hugh Casson Award for the worst new building of the year has been awarded annually since 1982 by the 'Nooks and Corners' column of the British satirical magazine Private Eye. The name ironically honours Sir Hugh Casson. Column author Gavin Stamp explained in 2015 that "he would turn up – take a fee – for giving evidence at public inquiries to recommend the demolition of buildings: a trade I despise". Stamp noted that Casson would sometimes mention his office as Vice-Chairman of The Victorian Society when arguing for the demolition of Victorian buildings. The medal of the award uses a sketch of Casson which is a self-portrait.[1]


Year Building City Architect Comment Reference
1982 Ismaili Centre London Casson, Conder and Partners "lumpishness, banality, repetitiveness and repulsiveness of texture" Eye 549 p. 7
1983 Fire Station, Shaftesbury Avenue London Richard Seifert and Partners "It is tawdry fancy-dress architecture, without life or imagination" Eye 575 p. 7
1984 Renault Centre Swindon Foster and Associates "You can tell the Renault Centre is a whizzy High-Tech building because it is painted bright yellow" Eye 602 p. 9
1985 Lloyd's building London Richard Rogers and Partners "a great glazed grey warehouse ... how astonishingly naive it is as architecture" Eye 627 p. 7
1986 Clore Gallery, Tate Britain London James Stirling "a vast hole-in-the-wall entrance, a gratuitous neo-Constructivist unsupported corner" Eye 653 p. 9
1987 Police Station at Buckingham Palace London Property Services Agency "ugly, obtrusive, insensitive, banal" Eye 679 p. 7
1988 Skylines Village, Isle of Dogs London Maxwell Hutchinson "a 45-degree triangle on its side ... hyped-up mediocrity" Eye 706 p. 9
1989 The Mound[n 1] Edinburgh Allies and Morrison "a series of pointless, pretentious structures" Eye 733 p. 9
1990 Concert Hall Glasgow Sir Leslie Martin "a building which looks as if it was designed in 1950 in, say, Bulgaria" Eye 757 p. 9
1991 Sainsbury Wing, National Gallery London Robert Venturi "the elaborate and expensive camp joke" Eye 784 p. 9
1992 United Kingdom pavilion, Expo '92[n 2] Seville Nicholas Grimshaw "a showy, pretentious exterior with nothing behind it" Eye 810 p. 11
1993 Maitland Robinson Library, Downing College Cambridge Quinlan Terry "a gauche and vulgar essay in misunderstood Greek Classicism" Eye 836 p. 7
1994 Principal's Lodgings, Harris Manchester College Oxford Peter Yiangou "illiterate red-brick neo-Georgian" Eye 862 p. 9
1995 Faculty of Law Cambridge Foster and Partners "a long extruded half-cylinder of glass and stainless steel" Eye 888 p. 7
1996 House for an Art Lover Glasgow Charles Rennie Mackintosh "[an] unreal design by [a] long dead architect" Eye 914 p. 12
1997 Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre Glasgow Foster and Partners "a triumphant betrayal of all that modern architecture was meant to stand for" Eye 940 p. 9
1998 Buchanan Galleries Glasgow Legge Ericsson, Jenkins and Marr "a triumph of barbarism, vulgarity, ineptitude" Eye 967 p. 9
1999 Millennium Dome London Richard Rogers and Partners "a huge circular plastic tent ... [an] extravagant, vapid toy" Eye 992 p. 17
2000 Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel, Pangbourne College Pangbourne Crispin Wride Architectural Design Studio "so very like the Ruskin Library that its 'architects' are obviously shameless" Eye 1018 p. 9
2001 The Forum Norwich Michael Hopkins and Partners "all entrance ... a huge and crude building" Eye 1045 p. 12
2002 Extension to City Art Gallery Manchester Michael Hopkins and Partners "the splendid and really beautiful interiors of the original building .. have been gratuitously spoiled" Eye 1070 p. 12
2003 Juxon House, Paternoster Square London William Whitfield "an overdone embarrassing compromise, a dog's dinner" Eye 1097 p. 15
2004 Scottish Parliament Building[n 3] Edinburgh Enric Miralles "confused and confusing mish-mash of upturned boats and leaflike forms" Eye 1122 p. 12
2005 Monument to the Women of World War II London John W. Mills "crude and inept ... from a distance, the memorial becomes an incoherent dark lump, formless and inelegant" Eye 1149 p. 14
2006 Palestra, Blackfriars Road London SMC Alsop "a giant gimmick that is also plain ugly" Eye 1174 p. 14
2007 The Meeting Place statue, St Pancras station London Paul Day "this tasteless creation" Eye 1200 p. 14
2008 The Public West Bromwich Will Alsop "a big box ... with no obvious entrances" Eye 1226 p. 12
2009 One Hyde Park[n 4] London Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners "an overweening (half-empty) ... masterpiece" Eye 1252 p. 15
2010 One New Change London Jean Nouvel "on this crucial, prominent site, Nouvel's incoherent, solipsistic glazed lump is an insult to St Paul's" Eye 1278 p. 14
2011 Museum of Liverpool[n 4] Liverpool 3XN and AEW Architects "a cheap rip-off of [ Zaha Hadid's ] Deconstructivist style" Eye 1304 p. 12
2012 RAF Bomber Command Memorial London Liam O'Connor "pompous, self-regarding and triumphalist" Eye 1330 p. 12
2013[n 5] Restaurant at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery London Zaha Hadid Architects "as incoherent as it is expressionistic" Eye 1356 p. 8
2014 Reid Building, Glasgow School of Art Glasgow Steven Holl Architects "crude and insufferably arrogant essay in minimalist neo-modernism" Eye 1382 p. 18
2015 Investcorp Building, St Antony's College, Oxford Oxford Zaha Hadid Architects "a long, curved, metallic thing like a big shiny slug" Eye 1408 p. 21
2016 NEO Bankside and The Switch House London Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and Herzog & de Meuron "ragged, discordant and rather incoherent in both surface modelling and overall form", "new, discordant brickwork" Eye 1434 p. 20
2017 Statue of George Orwell, Broadcasting House London Martin Jennings "The great man is depicted holding a fag, dressed in a crumpled suit and standing like a music hall artist about to crack a joke. The plinth is pathetic" Eye 1460 p. 20


  1. ^ The award was for the remodelling of The Mound, to make a new public square.
  2. ^ A temporary building, demolished in the year it was built.
  3. ^ This building uniquely won the Stirling Prize for excellence in architecture in the same year.
  4. ^ a b Shortlisted for Building Design magazine's Carbuncle Cup in 2011.
  5. ^ The column notes that there were two "conspicuous front-runners" for the award, mentioning first the "Walkie-Talkie" (20 Fenchurch Street, by Rafael Viñoly). Column author Gavin Stamp has subsequently said that the Walkie-Talkie was the winner of the award for 2013, as for instance in Eye 1408 p. 21; however the column in 2013 states "The winner this year, however, must be ... the restaurant attached to the new Serpentine Sackler Gallery".


  1. ^ "Page 94: The Private Eye Podcast. Episode 13" (Podcast). 30 November 2015.