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Carbuncle Cup

City GatewayOur City Gateway hall of residence has narrowly missed out on a national award. It was short-listed for the Carbuncle Cup, but was beaten in the final by London’s walkie talkie. The walkie talkie has melted cars; we simply could not compete.

Our tower, which has locally acquired the name “fag butt”, was particularly commended for being placed tight against the adjacent building; some students get a view of a blank wall. It also attracted attention last year when the university chose to enforce a contractual clause allowing it be left empty until now.

I guess the fag butt is a commemoration of the old British American Tobacco factory on the other side of town. Long ago, Rose alarmed fellow activists by describing the BAT plant as “Southampton’s ugliest building”. We’re now free to use the moniker on City Gateway: it has a national short-listing to prove it.

Back on campus, our Mountbatten Building actually won a RIBA award in 2009; unfortunately your UCU health and safety representatives are still having to work hard to bring the cost-engineered plumbing into a safe and usable condition.

Denis Nicole

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