Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Dalston Kingsland towerblock architects won Carbuncle Cup

In 2010 the architects of the planned Dalston Kingsland towerblock, London-based BFLS (formerly Hamiltons Architects), won the annual Carbuncle Cup competition run by Building Design magazine for “services to urban impropriety and breakfast-extracting ugliness”. The lead panel judge said that “Councils are meant to protect us from these buildings. How on earth did it get planning approval? "

BFLS's 43 storey, £113 million, Strata Tower is part of a "regeneration" scheme at Elephant and Castle. Some 50-75% of the flats were bought by buy-to-let landlords. 25% of the flats, on the tower's bottom floors, are "affordable homes" and there's a three-floor 'pavilion' to the side of the tower for Council tenants.
Like BFLS's 'dressed in green' Dalston tower, Strata came with buckets of greenwash - mega turbines in the roof to supply 8% of its energy.“A skyscraper is an energy-greedy building form, both in terms of construction, and the power needed to take people to their front doors in a lift" said the panel judge "To top one off with some wind turbines is the worst sort of greenwashing.

BFLS Dalston Kingsland towerblock will have no affordable housing but residents will be given planters and encouraged to grow their own veg.

So the talk in architectural circles now is "Can BFLS scoop the double with their Dalston Kingsland 'Dressed in Green' tower" by again winning the race to the bottom for the award every architect most dreads? (They seem to be heading in the right direction. Ed.)

BFLS Dalston Kingsland towerblock's north west corner - "a localised zone of (wind) acceleration where the comfort criterion for standing is exceeded".

It's not too late to make your views known to the Council. Send them in an email to and put "Planning Application 2011/3439 : 51- 57 Kingsland High Street" in the Subject line

You can see details of Dalston Kingland planning application 2011/3439 on the Council's web site here. The Council's official consultation deadline has now been extended.

You can read a summary of OPEN Dalston's main objections here.You can read our more detailed submission to Greater London Authority here

The "Dressed in Green" tower is being promoted by the developer's PR company, Four Communications, which has recruited Hackney's Deputy Mayor Karen Alcock and Councillor Alan Laing (formerly a member of Barratt's PR firm Hard Hat). "We are keen to use Alan’s extensive network of contacts within London politics" said Councillor Laing's new Managing Director whose company is also promoting the new Sainsburys planned for Stoke Newington and the controversial Stamford Hill school development.

PS Cllr. Alan Laing is no longer representing the people of Hackney - he has resigned. He will be remembered particularly for his work "regenerating" Ridley Road market


  1. May we also expect the deputy mayor's resignation soon?

  2. I completly disagree that towers are energy hungry buildings! Imagine if all the people a tower can accomodate would live in single family homes. Londons footprint would be sooo gigantic that to commute to work everyday would consume a lot more energy then a couple of lifts....

    The point of highrise buildings is to densify a city so it works effectively and therefore consume less energy as a whole....

    i say go and live in a new highrise! it sure consumes a lot less energy then the vicorian single glazed no insulating homes!

  3. Why is it that I really, really want to support Open Dalston's campaigns but in reality I never do? I am afraid that this is mainly because it never comes up with solutions, but only complains about other people's plans. Such a pity, no wonder people in Dalston don't support the movement in large numbers. Please, be a but more constructive, then at least things will start to happen...


Please leave comments that will add to the debate! We will not publish comments which are abusive or repetitive.

If we do not publish your comment and you are unhappy, please email with your contact details.