Despite the extraordinary and sustained prestige this building garners, there is no envy in this prestige, as the building is considered to be one of the ugliest in England. In fact, it often finds itself in the top three.
It’s up to you whether or not you like it. And don’t be offended if we take the liberty of confirming that, although it’s not ugly, it has a long way to go to match the beauty of Versailles or the Prague Royal Palace.
Let’s just say that the building holds a special place in the museum of odd buildings. Those of you who’ve been there have to admit that you probably said things like “Yuck”, “Is that ever ugly!”, or “Wow!” when you see this monstrosity. Or rather building.
Our first impression: a Cyclops with a glass elephant trunk. An unhappy Cyclops, as its smile is anything but joyful. Or it could be an extraterrestrial devoid of any outward charm and hooked up to an artificial respirator. A descendant of E.T. shouting out “Phone home, phone home!”
The building is a branch of the Selfridges chain. It’s the only building of its kind in the chain. The people of Birmingham are the lucky ones who get to see the building day and night.
The building was constructed in the Bull Ring, a major commercial area dating to the Middle Ages and containing shopping centres. The building measures 260,000 square feet or 24,000 metres. The Cyclops’ or extraterrestrial’s diamond skin is actually made up of 15,000 aluminum disks.
Everyone has their own taste. That’s true, since the building is among the 100 stores to visit in the world according to Retail Week magazine. And it won eight architectural awards. Not bad.
You would have preferred a nicer building. But not everything in this world is pretty. You have to accept it. Actually, the building isn’t ugly, it’s just strange. And certainly unique in the world.