Architecture's wooden spoon has been won by a "lumpen and oppressive" supermarket complex in Woolwich, London.

The dubious gong - The Carbuncle Cup - is awarded by the Building Design magazine as a humorous (and pointed) counterpoint to the prestigious Stirling Prize.

And it seems that Woolwich Central - an "arrogant and inept" amalgam of flats and a Tesco supermarket - was the clear winner, beating the year’s most prominent nomination, London's Vauxhall Tower, into second place.

Picture credit: Building Design

"Our judges had nothing good to say about the building," said Building Design editor Thomas Lane.

"The scheme is lumpen and oppressive and towers over its predominantly low-rise neighbours.

"It even manages to make its immediate neighbour, Greenwich council’s none-too-insubstantial town hall, and former Carbuncle Cup nominee, look like a pimple on the face of a morbidly obese bully.

"But the building's worst crime is it diminishes the efforts of those who have worked hard to regenerate this run-down, deprived part of London."

Indeed, even those involved in the genesis of the eyesore seem to be ashamed.

"It may not be a carbuncle but it is a flawed project and I regret my role as its midwife," said Greenwich Council's former head of planning Alex Grant, who gave the project the green light in 2007.

Picture credit: Building Design

The mixed-use structure - "oppressive in terms of shape, size and colour" - comprises 189 apartments in six interconnected blocks and rises to 17 storeys above the 7,800sq m Tesco.

But it transpires that the developers, Sheppard Robson, weren't entirely to blame for how the scheme turned out.

According to Grant: “The scheme’s intrinsic faults were magnified by a welter of cost-cutting changes in the four years between planning consent being granted in 2007 and the Tesco opening its doors in 2012.”

Picture credit: Building Design

Tesco also had a part to play in one of the other six finalists: Trinity Square in Gateshead, described by judges as worse than the car park that made way for its arrival.

The other finalists were the Chancellor's Building at University of Bath, east London's Unite Stratford City and north London's QN7 flats.

Building Design also revealed that votes had flooded in for another newcomer to London's skyline - the 'Walkie Talkie' at 20 Fenchurch Street.

The concave tower caused damage to nearby cars and buildings last summer when it deflected the sun’s rays onto surrounding streets, but as it is yet to be completed, it was not eligible to compete for this year's prize.

But we can probably assume that all bets are off for 2015.

The award takes its name from Prince Charles’ 1984 comment that the proposed extension to London’s National Portrait Gallery was a "monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend".

Picture credits: Building Design

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