MediaCityUK judged as the ‘ugliest’ development

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MediaCityUK in Salford Quays, which includes buildings for the BBC, ITV and Salford University. Photo - whathouse.co.uk

MediaCityUK, modelled on Dubai Media City, has been voted as the Britains ugliest’ development. The site, which is the new home of BBC, was ranked worst amongst other competitors in the Building Design magazines Carbuncle Cup. MediaCityUK is an iconic waterside community located at the Quays in Salford near Manchester.

The competition aimed to identify the ugliest building in the United Kingdom completed in the last 12 months. Severeal renowned architectural journalists from theObserver, GuardianandSunday Times judged the competition. Ellis Woodman, editor of Building Design commented that MediaCityUK was directly modelled on Dubais Media City.

The judges pointed out that it was a failure at the master-planning level, with accumulated development everywhere.

The first phase of MediaCityUK, designed byWilkinson Eyre, Chapman Taylor and Fairhurst Design Group,was opened this year. BBC Children, BBC Sport, BBC Learning and parts of Radio 5 Live are expected to move to MediaCityUK by the end of 2012.

Other tenants of MediaCityUK include ITV and the media studies department of Salford University.

However, there are only few takers for the new phase of the development. The BBC issued a statement that just 46% of the staff at BBC Breakfast have agreed to relocate to Salford. In March, a poll suggested 80% refused to relocate.

A spokeswoman for MediaCityUK declined to comment on the results of the Carbuncle Cup. However, she said that Dubai Media City was an early inspiration for the Salford development, but focused around the needs of target audience with BBC World in particular.

DUBAI MEDIA CITY

Mohammed Abdullah, managing director at the Media Cluster of Tecom Investments, said Dubai Media City was developed with a concern not only for buildings but also for public space. He said, The public areas and infrastructure are also constantly upgraded to match the demands of our stakeholders and adapt to the dynamic environment.

Since its inception in January 2001, Dubai Media City has grown to become a prosperous business community with both global and regional media companies. The business park allows companies to enjoy free zone benefits, which include 100% business ownership and exemption from taxes, along with value added services such as networking opportunities, venue management services, industry building programmes and government services.

Sources: The National, Dubai Media City

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