Carbuncle / by Ryan Trower

I had walked down Victoria St. once in the past, fairly late in the evening so I wasn't able to shoot there. So, yesterday I decided to go back.

The first time I went though, it didn't click with me that Victoria Street leads, rather obviously, towards Victoria Station. And towards this:

This is Nova Victoria - a mixed use scheme built besides Victoria Station with offices designed by PLP Architecture, and a residential block designed by Benson & Forsyth. For the most part, it's quite nice (if you ask me, that is). If you ignore the issues with the facade and the missing strips along the glass in places. But then you walk to the front of Victoria Station, and then you realise...

My god, it's hideous.

Described by judges as ‘crass’, ‘over-scaled’ and ‘a hideous mess’, NV is something more akin to the desert cities of the Middle East compared to London's West End.

That being said, this year's shortlist had some much more worthy candidates than NV, which at least has some merit. For example, Preston Station, Greetham Street Halls, and this monstrosity.

The whole of Victoria Street appears to be undergoing a massive change, with new and, seemingly rare for London, quality developments springing up along the thoroughfare; which creates a real dense feel to the place, almost like a tunnel.

It's just a shame it leads towards the shambles around Victoria Station, which, once the station improvements are complete, will fix a lot of the problems.